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Chris Eubank Jr’s cousin Harlem Eubank has revealed that the Brighton boxer was not himself on the day of the Liam Smith fight. Harlem, a fellow professional boxer, says he noticed a troubling shift in Chris’ body language while in the dressing room before his walk out.
Next Gen would go on to be knocked out by Smith in the fourth round of their grudge match in Manchester. Thus, marking the first time Chris had touched the canvas as a professional, let alone been stopped.
Many conspiracies were hatched to justify the surprise finish including cries of an ‘illegal elbow’ thrown by Smith in one of the final sequences. Chris’ team even considered lodging an appeal to the British Boxing Board of Control over the matter.
However, Harlem says that the former British middleweight champion’s mentality may have been the defining factor in his eventual demise.
“He seemed off [before the Liam Smith fight],” he told Express Sport. “Chris has a very distinct body language which some people can mistake for ignorance. He’s unphased by everything going on around him and I didn’t see that sort of bulletproof Chris that I’ve seen in every one of his fights.
“I noticed a shift in his body language. Only he knows what the reason for that is but he didn’t seem his normal self in the dressing room. I didn’t notice it earlier in fight week, but I did see it in the dressing room.
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“In that dressing room that’s where you are preparing for war and that is where it shows your mentality and how you are feeling, and I just noticed a difference in him. But I think he will put whatever has caused that change to bed in the second fight and do everything he needs to do to be in the right place for that moment before he goes into battle.”
Many fans believe the weight cut had an effect on Chris given that he looked so drawn in on the scales and there have been calls for him to move up to 168lb. But Harlem has advised his cousin to stick to middleweight and instead change the way he sheds the pounds.
“I think the weight is fine for him honestly, he just needs to make sure everything is watertight for him in his preparations,” he added. “I don’t think he’s used to making weight, I don’t think he’s used to the protocols of making weight where he has walked so close to the limit in the past.
“He had to eat to make weight fighting at super middleweight. So, I think he is a middleweight he just needs to get the weight prep right.”
Watch Harlem Eubank vs Christian Uruzquieta live and for free on Channel 5 on Friday, March 31.
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