This is the shocking moment Chris Eubank Jr branded boxing rival Liam Smith a ‘love cheat’ and announced he would ‘rather be gay than a cheat’ during an ugly row at their pre-fight press conference.
Eubank Jr, the 33-year-old son of world champion Chris Eubank Sr, is set to fight the Liverpudlian in Manchester on Saturday night.
But during a press conference ahead of the bout today, the pair engaged in a ‘homophobic’ argument in which Smith claimed Eubank Jr is ‘gay, before he in turn made accusations that Smith is unfaithful to his girlfriend.
During the bitter argument, Eubank Jr said: ‘If you want to 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.’
Chris Eubank Jr (left) and Liam Smith (right) launched into an ugly argument at Thursday’s press conference
Following the row, Sky Sports presenter Anna Woolhouse was forced to apologise for the ‘offensive’ and ‘homophobic’ language used throughout, while co-presenter Andy Clarke described what was heard as ‘personal’ and ‘homophobic’.
Sky Sports also removed the streamed event from their Sky Sports Boxing YouTube channel.
Eubank Jr has since taken to social media, stating: ‘Well that escalated quickly.’
The row was initiated following remarks made by Eubank Jr earlier this week in which he revealed Smith, 34, has been sending him direct messages on Instagram leading up to the fight.
Eubank Jr referenced those messages at Thursday’s press conference, stating: ‘You slid into my DMs. I’m used to seeing girls in my DMs, I’m not used to seeing guys.’
Smith, a former super-welterweight world champion, then replied: ‘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 want to tell us something? Because nobody in this room has ever seen you with a woman.’
Eubank Jr looked to revert the conversation to the task at hand, insisting personal matters should not be brought into question publicly.
‘Listen, my private life is my private life,’ Eubank Jr responded. ‘That’s irrelevant to the boxing, but I’m happy, I’m comfortable.’
Eubank Jr, following another prompt from Smith, who again asked, ‘Do you have something you want to tell us?’ he continued: ‘It’s a very personal question to ask me directly. You can slide in my DMs or you can do it right now.’
Smith then replied: ‘I’m not that kind of way, mate, I like women.’
Eubank Sr and Eubank Jr pictured together following the latter’s victory over James DeGale in February 2019
The British rivals became increasingly personal as the press conference went on earlier today
Eubank Jr took to social media after the press conference, admitting the argument ‘escalated quickly’
Smith initiated the argument by asking whether Eubank Jr had anything to say, stating ‘nobody in this room has ever seen you with a woman’
Eubank Jr insisted his private life is irrelevant to boxing but later accused Smith of cheating on his wife
Smith, responding to the accusations of cheating on his partner (left), stated: ‘You haven’t got a missus to cheat on’
Later in the press conference, Eubank Jr returned to the earlier argument, this time accusing his impending opponent of cheating on his wife ‘on occasion’.
He said: ‘If you want to 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.’
This was met with a response of: ‘You haven’t got a missus to cheat on.’
Eubank Jr is taking to the ring for the first time since his February 2022 win over Liam Williams, with his October bout against Conor Benn axed after the latter failed two drugs tests in the build-up to the fight.
Smith, meanwhile, last beat Hassan Mwakinyo in September last year.
Saturday’s bout pits a famous father and son pair against an extraordinary boxing family.
Liam is the second youngest of four brothers, with Callum, Stephen and Paul all having had successful boxing careers.
Paul fought for British titles against the likes of James DeGale and George Groves, while he also fought on the world stage with hall of famer Andre Ward and ex-world champion Arthur Abraham.
He was followed by Stephen, who won the British and Commonwealth featherweight titles in his 12th professional fight.
He also fought Jose Pedraza for the IBF and Jason Sosa for the WBA ‘regular’ featherweight belts in 2016, before retiring five years later.
Callum, the youngest at 32, fought alongside Anthony Joshua for Team GB but was denied a place on the London 2012 Olympic team.
He beat George Groves to win the Muhammad Ali trophy and WBA title before losing to Mexican star Canelo Alvarez in 2020.