Chris Eubank Jr faces career-defining night as Liam Smith rematch presents uncharted territory

Chris Eubank Jr takes a crucial step into uncharted territory on a potentially career-defining evening against Liam Smith.

Seven months have passed since that unforgettable night in Manchester, when British boxing fans were left stunned by the sight of one of the sport's most brash and self-confessed 'marmite' figures being emphatically humbled and having his legs turned to jelly by a vicious fourth-round onslaught.

The wily Smith's relentless smothering pressure and furious fists brought two knockdowns in quick succession and ensured Eubank was stopped for the first time as a professional.

While he had lost in the past, twice in fact, to both Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves, the manner in which Eubank was swiftly dismantled in a destructive blur of power punches was like nothing we've seen before and he knows that he can ill-afford any sort of repeat as he bids to bounce back swiftly in Saturday's twice-delayed rematch.

It is not merely redemption and reputation on the line for the 33-year-old this weekend, with a path back to genuine relevance becoming seriously difficult to plot if he is convincingly defeated once more.

Smith has been left irate with what he regards as a slew of non-stop excuses from his rival since that January showdown in Manchester, which ranged from an alleged slip to complacency to his fight weight after the cancelled clash with Conor Benn and plenty more besides, the Liverpudlian most recently rightly bristling at the result being dismissively derided as an "absolute miracle".

Eubank has since split from his trainer, the legendary former four-weight world champion Roy Jones Jr, instead enlisting the services of Brian 'BoMac' McIntyre, celebrated for his work with new undisputed welterweight king Terence Crawford.

Rematch: Liam Smith will hope to repeat his January heroics against Chris Eubank Jr (PA)
Rematch: Liam Smith will hope to repeat his January heroics against Chris Eubank Jr (PA)

Eubank has received some valuable words of wisdom from 'Bud' this week and will hope to draw some inspiration from his new stablemate's modern masterclass against Errol Spence Jr in Las Vegas last month.

"I know I am the better fighter and I am going to go out there and prove it," Eubank said at Thursday's feisty final press conference, thankfully devoid of the offensive remarks that marred the build-up to the first fight but still a heated affair involving two men between whom there is certainly no love lost.

"The preparation I have had has been excellent and the performance I am going to have is going to be exquisite, supernatural. It is going to be a beautiful, artistic display of savage boxing."

Smith, for his part, is wholly unfazed by Eubank's renewed bravado and has defiantly pledged to wreak similar punishment this time around.

"The same will happen again. If he makes the same mistakes, I will punish him," he said.