Liam topples Chris Eubank Jr with brutal knock-down



It took Liam Smith 69 seconds of round four to turn his fight with Chris Eubank Jr upside down on Sat-urday in Manchester.

It was a truly savage end to a brutal campaign outside the ropes and one of the most shocking fin-ishes seen in a British ring. It was unexpected and quite brilliant.

Smith trapped Eubank Jr in his own corner, connected six or seven times in a bloody blur and down slid Eubank Jr. He beat the count, tottered, rolled, nearly fell without a touch and was allowed to continue. There was mayhem at ringside and in the packed arena. He was soon down again, sprawling desperately to a sad heap when it was waved off. It was over, the hate was finished and the referee, Victor Laughlin, stopped the fight: Liam Smith winner by fourth-round stoppage; it was a result that the bookies placed at 28-1, which might even be generous.

Eubank Jr looked fully isolated in defeat, trying to make sense of the violence he had just been sub-jected to. It is a lonely place, the boxing ring, and any man standing there with just his wayward predictions for company is a harsh sight. The action came close to continuing once it was done; Eubank was up, still reeling and he wanted to fight some more as the ring filled with the joyous and concerned from both contrasting corners. Smith was willing and there was a hateful moment when it looked like Smith would oblige, but thankfully his trainer, Joe McNally, wrapped Eubank Jr in a caring embrace and shuffled him back to the safety of his own corner and the care of Roy Jones Jr. It was a final piece of drama on a night of extremes and also an act of great kindness. We are not animals in this blood-drenched boxing caper.—APP