Chris Eubank Jr. has responded to his upcoming opponent Liam Smith’s bizarre “You’re gay” spat by wearing an armband in support of the LGBT+ community.
The fighters clashed in the run-up to Saturday’s fight, with Smith suggesting Eubank Jr. was “gay” before Eubank Jr. in turn made allegations that his rival was being unfaithful to his girlfriend.
Now Eubank Jr. has further expanded his response by wearing the same rainbow armband that soccer captains were not allowed to wear during the World Cup in Qatar in late 2022 as they faced off before their clash.
Chris Eubank Jr. wore a rainbow armband in support of the LGBT+ community as he faced Liam Smith ahead of their fight on Saturday
England captain Harry Kane (right) was banned from wearing a rainbow armband in support of the LGBT+ community at the last World Cup
Premier League stars have previously worn armbands similar to those worn by Eubank Jr
Posting on social media in support of the Pride movement, Eubank included a picture of him confronting Smith while wearing the armband, with the caption: “We don’t discriminate…we don’t alienate.” We want boxing & sport as a whole, all inclusive.”
Eubank Jr. and Smith are facing an investigation from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBofC) over their shameful “personal” and “homophobic” comments at their pre-fight press conference.
Eubank Jr., the 33-year-old son of world champion Chris Eubank Sr., will face the Liverpool native on Saturday night in Manchester.
Before the weigh-in there were many apologies for the tacky insults of 24 hours ago, but not an ounce between Eubank and Smith as they stepped on the scale.
Chris Eubank Jr. (left) and Liam Smith started an ugly argument at Thursday’s press conference
Both came in at 11st 5lbs, exactly two pounds below middleweight.
In previous interviews, everyone offered some apologies for the sexual abuse, which Sky Television publicly deplored, and the British Boxing Board of Control promised to investigate.
In response to Smith’s false suggestion that he might be gay, Eubank came on stage with the Pride armband, which Harry Kane was banned from wearing in Qatar.
And though silence was golden for most of the long stare, Smith couldn’t resist calling Eubank a clown at the end.
Junior responded by saying: “He’s done it personally so it’s not just normal business at the Manchester Arena this Saturday night anymore. I will enjoy punishing him.
On Friday morning, the BBofC released a statement signed by Secretary General Robert W. Smith, announcing that they were aware of the comments and were investigating.
“The British Board of Boxing Control is aware of the comments by Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jnr. at yesterday’s press conference, and the board stewards will look directly into the behavior of the two boxers,” it said.
When the boxers met again for the weigh-in on Friday afternoon, Eubank Jr stepped out in a Manchester United jersey with a rainbow captain’s armband, likely to upset Liverpool fan Smith.
On Friday morning, the BBofC released a statement announcing they were investigating the comments made
The insults stemmed from the pair’s appearance on ‘Gloves Are Off’ – a staple of Sky Sports’ pre-fight promotion, which saw two fighters sit across from each other to chat with former world champion Johnny Nelson.
In fact, their episode had to be shortened — and carefully edited — last month after Eubank and Smith lit fires on each other’s families.
But the British boxers clashed again on Thursday, with Eubank Jr lashing out at Smith, saying: ‘If you want to get dark and personal talk about being gay and do I like girls? I have been told by several sources that you occasionally cheat on your wife.’
Following the argument, Sky Sports presenter Anna Woolhouse apologized for the “offensive” and “homophobic” language used throughout, while co-host Andy Clarke described what he heard as “personal” and “homophobic”.
Sky Sports also removed the streamed event from its Sky Sports Boxing YouTube channel.
Eubank Jr. later took to social media and said, “Well, that escalated quickly.”
The row came after comments by Eubank Jr. earlier this week, in which he revealed Smith, 34, had sent him direct messages on Instagram in the run-up to the fight.
Eubank Jr. referenced the news at Thursday’s news conference, stating, “They slipped into my DMs. I’m used to seeing girls in my DMs, I’m not used to seeing boys.
Smith started the argument by asking if Eubank Jr. had anything to say, saying, “No one in this room has ever seen you with a woman.”
Eubank Jr. insisted his personal life was irrelevant to boxing, but later accused Smith of cheating on his wife
Smith responded to allegations of cheating on his partner (left): “You don’t have a wife to cheat on.”
Smith, a former super welterweight world champion, then responded: “Chris, you’re talking about girls, mate, has anyone ever seen you in this room with a girl?
“Have you anything to say to us? Because you are 33. do you want to tell us something Because no one in this room has ever seen you with a woman.”
Eubank Jr. tried to bring the conversation back to the task at hand, insisting that personal matters should not be publicly questioned.
“Listen, my personal life is my personal life,” Eubank Jr. replied. “It’s irrelevant to boxing, but I’m happy, I’m comfortable.”
Eubank Jr. followed another prompt from Smith, who again asked, “Is there anything you would like to share with us?” You can insert my DMs or you can do it right away.’
Smith then replied: “I’m not like that mate, I like women.”
Later in the press conference, Eubank Jr. revisited the earlier argument, this time accusing his upcoming opponent of cheating on his wife “on occasion.”
He said: “If you want to get dark and personal, talk about being gay and do I like girls? I have been told by several sources that you occasionally cheat on your wife.
“So glass houses, mate. Let’s stick to personal things. I’d rather be gay than a cheater.”
This was met with a response that read, “You have no wife to cheat on.”
Eubank Jr. is stepping into the ring for the first time since beating Liam Williams in February 2022, with his fight against Conor Benn in October being scrapped after the latter failed two pre-fight drug tests.
Smith, on the other hand, last beat Hassan Mwakinyo in September last year.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/boxing/article-11658457/Chris-Eubank-Jr-responds-Liam-Smiths-bizarre-youre-gay-rant-rainbow-armband.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Chris Eubank Jr. responds to Liam Smith’s bizarre “You’re gay” rant with a rainbow armband