Chris Eubank Jr. exercises rematch clause for Liam Smith rematch

Chris Eubank Jr. will seek revenge.

The middleweight contender announced Tuesday that he has exercised his contractual right to an immediate rematch with Liam Smith, who stopped him in four rounds last month in a major upset.

“This morning I activated the rematch clause via my lawyers & sent to my promoters @Wasserman [Boxing],” Eubank wrote in a statement on social media. “Happy Valentine’s Day @LiamBeefySmith.”

Eubank was widely expected to defeat Smith, a former WBO junior middleweight champion. It was Smith, however, that countered Eubank with right hand after right hand. Smith finally broke through in the fourth round after Eubank began to neglect the use of his jab. Smith subsequently unloaded with both hands, finishing with two left hooks that dropped Eubank for the first time in his career.

He rose to his feet with help from the ropes but was badly hurt and on unsteady legs. Referee Victor Loughlin allowed the fight to continue as Smith prematurely celebrated. But moments later, he decked Eubank a second time and Loughlin waved it off at 1:09.

The 33-year-old Eubank (32-3, 23 KOs) suffered the first knockout defeat of his 11-year professional career. His two previous losses—both in 12-round contests—came via split decision to former two-division titleholder Billy Joe Saunders in November 2014 and unanimous decision to George Groves in their World Boxing Super Series super middleweight semifinal bout. Groves' WBA "Super" 168-pound title was also on the line.

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