Fireworks started early at the final press conference between Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith ahead of this upcoming Saturday's (Jan 21) encounter at the AO Arena, Manchester. The personalities of the fighters are on the scale of things polar opposites. Still, one thing is for sure is that both fighters are incredibly confident yet very much on edge and did not shy away from displaying their confidence in the press conference.
The press conference started calmly with the pair's opening remarks. "The last few days of weight-cutting are always hard," said Eubank. You never really feel great. But as far as weight cutting goes, I feel as good as I could be. We're going to do it in a responsible and good fashion and we're going to be full of energy on the night 100 percent.
"At this stage of my career, 33-years-old, every fight is do or die. Every fight is a must-win and a must-win in devastating fashion. I've got to make statements. I can't be having flat performances. I can't be coasting, I can't be scraping victories. I need to be setting the world on fire right now because I'm not getting any younger."
"I need these world titles and you need to beat these guys in devastating fashion to be able to challenge for world titles. So that's what we're going to be doing on Saturday.
"It'll be up there [with the best wins of his career if he defeats Smith]. A former world champion. He's on a great win streak at the moment, as am I. Two of the biggest names in British boxing going head to head in Manchester, what more do you need?"
Smith in his opening remarks feels that he has more experience particularly boxing in Manchester and says it feels like home yet is aware of what defeat might be like in regards to returning to the world title level.
"It will feel like home for me on Saturday night. I've won my world title here, I've defended it there, I defended my British title there, I've had a number of fights there and I'm unbeaten there. Chris isn't. This arena is a good omen for me.
"We're two polar opposites. We'll never get along outside boxing. (In regards to the difference of personalities in comparison to Eubank Jr.)
"Anyone who loses now, it's a long, long road back at 33, 34. You haven't got three or four years to rebuild or even two years to rebuild. We're not at the age where we can rebuild ourselves.
"Big fights come in between that but my goal, I'm still in boxing to be a two-time world champion and what better way to do that than to be a two-time world champion and a two-weight world champion."
Eubank Jr then threatened Smith by saying “I'm going to knock you out in two days' time.” to which Smith replies with "I'd love to make a statement and stop him, but a win by any means necessary is the aim. It's just the win that matters regardless."
"I've always wanted to win this fight by knockout, the fact that Liam is being a child up here is giving me extra incentive," Eubank followed up as he spoke about what he expects in the encounter."
Eubank continued to say that "I'm cutting weight right now, so I'm at a good solid 44-45 per cent right now, but I'll be a strong 50 per cent on the night and that will be more than enough to take care of the man on my left."
"Nobody believes him," Smith replied. "That's Chris being Chris."
Then following that exchange the press conference took a very personal turn in insults directed at Eubank Jr from Smith.
Eubank Jr joked: “You slid into my DMs. I’m used to seeing girls in my DMs, I’m not used to seeing guys.”
This prompted a reaction from Smith, who asked: “Chris, you go on about girls mate, has anybody in this room ever seen you with a girl?
“Have you got something to tell us? Because you’re 33. Do you wanna tell us something?
“Because nobody in this room has ever seen you with a woman.”
Eubank naturally went defensive “Listen, my private life is my private life. That’s irrelevant to the boxing, but I’m happy, I’m comfortable.”
Smith asked again: “Do you have something you wanna tell us?”
To which Eubank Jr responded: “It’s a very personal question to ask me directly. You can slide in my DMs or you can do it right now.”
Smith concluded this portion of the back-and-forth by saying: “I’m not that type of way mate, I like women.”
The press conference continued and Eubank Jr deliberately returned to this subject and fired back at Smith accusing the former WBO world super-welterweight champion of adultery against his wife.
“If you wanna 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 occasion.
“So glass houses mate. Let’s just relax on the personal stuff. I’d rather be gay than a cheat.”
Smith replied: “You haven’t got a missus to cheat on.”
Eubank also during the press conference took aim at former WBC world cruiserweight world champion, Tony Bellew and stated that Liam Smith was a bigger arsehole than Bellew in a public insult.
“I used to think Tony Bellew was the biggest arsehole to come out of Liverpool, but Liam has definitely taken the number one spot. It’s impressive,” Eubank Jr said.
Bellew responded on Twitter saying: “He’s correct I am Liverpool’s biggest arsehole BUT I’m an arsehole who’s won far more than he ever will!
“He also needs to return that blag belt he parades around with back to Brighton Pier arcades where he won it!”
Following the press conference broadcaster Sky Sports apologised for the antics in the press conference describing it as very homophobic and insulting.