Eubank left ‘whinging’ by Smith body shot as sparring details emerge

Gogglebox: Chris Eubank and son Eubank Jr star in show

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Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith square off this weekend at the AO Arena, Manchester in a middleweight contest live on Sky Sports Box Office. But it isn’t the first time the pair have shared a ring together.

Seven years ago, they spent two weeks training and sparring together in Bolton while both were undefeated up-and-coming prospects. Eubank Jr had been drafted in by Liam’s brother Paul ahead of his rematch with Arthur Abraham in February 2015.

During this time, Liam and Chris sparred three times with one particular sparring session grabbing the headlines. Smith claims he ‘nearly crumbled’ Eubank Jr with a body shot and now his trainer, Joe Gallagher, has backed up his claims.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Gallagher said: “It was a good spar. Liam did catch Chris with a good body shot. It wasn’t a body shot that he fell on the floor, he walked around holding his side, whinging a little bit but he recovered and carried on.

“But Liam did have his moment in the spar in there and I think that’s what’s given Liam huge confidence going into this.”

But Eubank Jr says he doesn’t remember the sparring session, nor the crunching body shot. “I genuinely can’t remember how those spars went,” said Eubank Jr. “He’s been saying that he nearly crumbled me with a body shot.

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“The myth around his gym and around Liverpool is that Chris Eubank Jr is vulnerable and weak to the body and he exploited that. I doubt very highly that’s what happened.”

He added: “I don’t remember if I hurt him. He says he hurt me to the body and nearly put me on the canvas. I think that is a whimsical tale. We’re both probably two different fighters compared to what we were back then. Well, I know I am; he may not be, but I am.”

Eubank Jr has shown a sturdy chin during his stint in professional boxing with his durability being one of his most impressive attributes. However, Smith is adamant Eubank Jr can be hurt to the body and intends to put that to the test on fight night.

“I know Chris can be hurt to the body; I’ve openly said it, I know I hurt him to the body. He’ll tell you different, but he’s telling you he’s never been hurt in his life, so that’s just Chris.

“Obviously size made it an even spar, and that’s what I’m trying to say now. Size here is making this fight a 50-50, or a great fight as people are saying.”

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