Carl Froch On Liam Smith: “His Career Is Over” After Loss To Eubank Jr.
By Jake Tiernan: Carl Froch says 15-year pro Liam Smith’s career is effectively over after his tenth round knockout loss to Chris Eubank Jr. last Saturday night in their rematch.
Froch thinks that at 35, the former WBO junior middleweight champion ‘Beefy’ Smith (33-4-1, 20 KOs) is at a stage in his career where he is struggling to make 160, and he’s small to move up to 168 to extend his career in that weight class.
Interestingly, Eubank Jr. doesn’t seem interested in taking advantage of his win over Liam to try and get a world title shot. After the fight, Eubank Jr. discussed fighting semi-retired Gennadiy Golovkin or Conor Benn next.
Smith says he had to cut 42 lbs of weight during camp, leaving him drained & easy pickings for Eubank Jr. (33-3, 24 KOs) to capitalize on his depleted state to drop him twice and stop him in round ten.
Liam was the oddsmaker’s favorite to win but had nothing in the tank. Whatever chance he had of winning went up in smoke when he hurt his left ankle early in the fight.
Smith’s career isn’t fully over, but his chances of fighting for a world title before hanging up his gloves are nonexistent.
Is Liam Smith’s career over?
Carl Froch: “He can’t do 160. He’s 35 years old. If you can’t do 160, what is he going to do? Step up to super middleweight because he’s not big enough. So, for me, his career is over. That’s my opinion. I don’t think there needs to be a third fight,” said Froch to talkSPORT Boxing about Liam Smith following his loss to Chris Eubank Jr.
Smith’s career isn’t over, as he can continue to make decent coming fighting at the domestic level. But it wouldn’t be fair to Smith or the fans to throw him in with any of the middleweight champions because he’ll lose badly.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Chris Eubank’s performance. I don’t want to write off Liam Smith too much, but Liam Smith was that bad,” said Froch.
“But taking 42 pounds off, being that drained going into the ring, not only is it dangerous, but it’s also kind of conning the fans and cheating the fans and the public. You’re in there to put on a performance, but actually, you have no chance of putting on a performance because you’re physically incapable.
“That’s what he [Smith] looked like from round one for me. He was in survival after the knockdown, but before that, he did nothing. It just wasn’t good enough for Liam Smith. I was disappointed about his performance badly.”
Liam was afraid to let his hands go and gave the first three rounds away without doing anything at all, letting Eubank Jr. win by throwing jabs. Those were rounds that Smith could have won if he’d been busy, but he looked scared.
Smith let his weight balloon up
George Groves: “I was disappointed that he ballooned up that much in weight because he would have known that there was a strong possibility that Eubank would trigger a rematch clause [after their fight last January].”
How did Smith put on 40+ lbs after his fourth round knockout win over Eubank Jr. last January? That’s an awful amount of weight, making this writer wonder if Smith had eaten a lot of pizza, pies, ice cream & candy in the months following his win over Eubank Jr.
That’s a lot of weight to put on in a short amount of time for a professional athlete.
“So, at this stage of your career, you don’t let yourself fluctuate so much. He’s already moved up in weight [from 154]. So he doesn’t need to pile on the pounds,” said Groves.
“Nobody in the industry picked Eubank to win. I didn’t back Eubank to win. I wondered if his best days are behind him, whether the fire has left him, whether he’s a shot fighter. Is the punch resistance gone? Is the engine gone? Is even the desired and mental strength gone?”
A person who is eating junk food and celebrating a big win would put on the kind of weight that Smith did.
Eubank Jr. didn’t get tested
Froch: “Listen, you still might be right. He [Eubank Jr.] didn’t really get tested in there. Liam was that limited. What did he land, two or three shots? Did you see Chris Jr’s face after the fight at the press conference? He didn’t have a mark on him. He was literally unmarked.”
Eubank Jr. didn’t prove that he’s capable of hanging with any of the midweight champions with his performance over Smith. It would likely end badly for Eubank Jr. if he challenged any of these middleweight champions:
- Janibek Alimkhanuly
- Carlos Adames
- Vincenzo Gualtieri
- Erislandy Lara
- Jermall Charlo
“So, he might be shot, he [Eubank Jr] might be shot, he might be that fighter that got dropped early in their first fight, but we never got to find out because Liam Smith never landed a punch,” said Froch.
“I think he landed. one or two shots that were half-power shots, and Eubank was able to roll them off and not worry about them. He never got put under any pressure at all. Liam Smith didn’t land hardly any shots and didn’t put him under any pressure.
“I don’t think that told us much about Eubank except for what we have to say, it was a good performance, and he put shots together for ten rounds and was quite busy. So, he was fit, and he looked strong.
“We’re not going to know, are we, until he’s hit on the chin by someone that can punch a little bit.
I was shocked that Liam Smith performed so poorly. He wasn’t trying to do anything but just stay in three.”
What next for Eubank Jr?
Groves: “Both guys are at the stage of their careers where they’re thinking about business. Liam Smith has a world title previously [WBO 154-lb belt won in 2015 against John ‘AKA Apollo’ Thompson].
“He can say that he was a former world champion. Eubank, I don’t think that’s high on his priority list. He might say it, but I think he’ll always choose a big fight and more money over a world title and accolades.”
Froch: “Well, he mentioned GGG. He mentioned Gennadiy Golovkin, and it’s been talked about a Conor Benn fight up at 160. Chris Eubank Jr., his massive fight, his big payday fight, would definitely be the Conor Benn fight.
“Conor Benn needs to fight first. He’s been too long out of the ring to jump in there with Chris Eubank Jr. off that kind of performance from Eubank.”