George Groves: “If Eubank Aims the Body, He Can Stop” Liam Smith
Via Scott Gilfoid: George Groves believes Chris Eubank Jr can stop Liam Smith if he takes aim at his body on Saturday night and focuses on their combined punches to the head at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Canelo Alvarez focuses on body throws during a ninth-round knockout win over much younger Liam Smith in September 2016 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. On two occasions, Canelo knocked Smith out with left hooks into the midfield.
The final picture in season nine has Liam writhing in pain on the canvas, with his face showing pure pain from the pain that torments his body. That fight showed Smith’s weaknesses as a boxer.
While he has a head that resembles a brick wall, his body is as soft as a marshmallow and may have a ‘Punch Here’ sign printed on it. If Eubank Jr targets that area, he can’t help but stop Liam on Saturday night.
The 34-year-old gray-haired Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) is not a great boxer and he hasn’t faced anyone of quality since losing to Jaime Munguia in 2018, a match which he lost after getting tired of the volume, power, and body blows from the heavy-handed Mexican fighter.
In 2021, Smith was landed cleanly by Magomed Kurbanov, losing close in the decisive 12th round in Russia. While some boxing fans see it as a hometown decision for Kurbanov, it seems like a clear victory on his part. Smith was separated by Kurbanov and repeatedly punched.
“He doesn’t get along with losing; he doesn’t have a losing mindset,” George Groves told Sports sky about Chris Eubank Jr’s thought process ahead of Saturday’s battle with Liam Smith.
“If he punches with intensity and volume, he can even stop Liam Smith, who was previously stopped by Canelo Alvarez, who is clearly a heavyweight boxer. But he can get hurt, he can get hurt to the body.
“If Eubank targets the body, I think he can stop him,” Groves said of Eubank Jr’s ability to stop Liam if he targets his vulnerable body, which is what Canelo Alvarez did when stopping him in 2016.
“It will be very difficult to go back. But if he still feels young and fresh enough, he can do it. It may not be the be all and end that he will leave the game. But it will be quite difficult.”