The Chris Eubank Jr.-Liam Smith rivalry took a nasty turn at the final press conference on Thursday, ahead of Saturday’s bout at the sold-out Manchester Arena, when a homophobic jab from Smith turned things very personal.
“You go on about girls,” Smith exclaimed at Eubank, “has anybody in this room ever seen you with a girl? You got something to tell us? You are 33 and you said on the program you want kids. This is for no laughs. I am just asking, do you want to tell us something? You are putting up pictures with Neymar in limousines. No-one in this room has seen you with a woman. If you are happy just tell us; it isn’t a dig. You have to have a women to have a kid.”
Eubank would counter that indirect attack.
“Listen, my private life is my private life,” Eubank replied. “That is irrelevant to the boxing, but I am happy and comfortable. What would you like to know Liam? If you want to get personal, talking about being gay? If you would like to ask me a question just slide into my DMs.”
“I’m not that type of way, mate,” Smith fired back. “I like women.”
The second generation star was not done, however.
“It’s a bit fruity, isn’t it? Talking about another man’s beard and hair,” Eubank told Smith. “You are asking me if I’m gay, you are asking about my beard and hair. I have a great barber, I can introduce you if you want. If you want to get dark and personal with it, talking about being gay and do I like girls, I’ve been told by multiple sources that you cheat on your wife on every occasion. Glass houses, mate. Let’s relax on the personal insults. I’d rather be gay than a cheat, how about that?”
Things got so ugly that Sky Sports presenter Anna Woolhouse was forced to issue a public apology at the press function.
“We would like to apologize if you have been offended by the offensive language, personal and homophobic remarks made up on stage,” Woolhouse told the assembled public and media.
Eubank will be making his first ring appearance in nearly a year. A clash with fellow British second-generation star Conor Benn was canceled on short notice after Benn tested positive for a banned substance.
The 33-year-old son of Chris Eubank Sr. has never been shy about sharing his opinions and he’s been very vocal about upcoming opponent Liam Smith.
“I’ve said a lot to him in the build up to this fight,” Eubank recently told Sky Sports. “I’m in his head. He even slid into my DMs a few days ago, messaging me on Instagram. So I know I’ve rattled him. I just look forward to finishing off the job on the 21st. I actually can’t repeat a lot of the language that he used in those DMs.
“But he is not a happy bunny, let’s just put it that way. I think that his frustration and his anger is going to play into how the fight is going to unfold. And it’s not going to play to his advantage, I know that. I sent him back a couple of little zingers. You’ve got to. Who knows, maybe on fight week I’ll screenshot it and post it.
“I think that there are levels to the sport, there are levels to the game, I think my highest level is going to be too much for him. I respect him. He’s done a lot in the sport of boxing over many years, as have I. But I feel like at this moment in time we’re two separate animals and it’s going to be too much for him on the night when that bell goes.”