Chris Eubank Jr has activated his rematch option with Liam Smith after his defeat in January. Former world champion Johnny Nelson believes unless Eubank Jr fights at a different weight, he will suffer the same fate in their second meeting. Eubank Jr was stopped in the fourth round of the Manchester fight after some early success.
Last year, his father and British boxing legend Chris Eubank Snr shared his grave concerns over his son shedding weight for the fight with Conor Benn which was scheduled to be fought at a catchweight on 157lbs.
Nelson said: ‘Chris can do it [make the middleweight limit] but he can’t box to the ability he thinks he has there. And his dad has been telling him that. Tellingly, that’s why his dad hasn’t been in his corner and I’m hearing there has been a fallout because his dad is telling him something he doesn’t want to hear.’
After the damaging defeat, the third of his career, Nelson believes Eubank Jr has had no choice but to trigger the rematch option in order to salvage his reputation despite the risks involved. He added that the weight is the ‘most fundamental factor’ as far as far as the rematch is concerned and that Eubank Jr must push for it to take place under different terms.
Eubank Jr last fought at super-middleweight in 2019, defending his IBO title against James DeGale before returning to middleweight to chase world honours.
Johnny Nelson is an ambassador of Natural Sports.