Chris Eubank Jr has announced he has activated a rematch clause, setting up a second fight with Liam Smith later this year.

In a heated affair last month, Smith prevailed after a devastating fourth round TKO at the Manchester Arena. Eubank Jr was reported to be considering appealing the loss, suggesting an elbow was used during the first knockdown.

However, a rematch clause was already in the contract so the option for another fight was always on the table.

“This morning I activated the rematch clause via my lawyers & sent to my promoters” Eubank Jr stated via Instagram on Tuesday.

The verbal sparring has already started with Eubank Jr sending a cheeky message to Smith on Instagram: “Happy Valentines Day @liambeefysmith”.

Tensions for the first meeting escalated due to heated comments from both parties in the press conferences leading into the fight.

Eubank Jr played the role of lead antagonist, trying to get under the skin of his rival. Both fighters decided to air their dirty laundry, with things getting personal in the last press conference before the fight.

Eubank Jr made things personal when saying “I’ve been told by multiple sources that you cheat on your wife on the occasion.”

The conversation descended to getting personal digs in, rather than talking about the fight itself.

Despite being on receiving end of a lot of provoking comments from Eubank Jr, Smith was also said to have crossed the line when questioning Eubank Jr’s sexuality: “You’re going on about girls, mate. Has anyone in this room ever seen you with a girl, have you got something to tell us, really?”

While Smith seemed rattled by Eubank Jr’s mind games in the build up to the fight, this battle of insults seemed to fuel Smith. Smith dominated the fight, taking Eubank Jr by surprise with his relentless approach ultimately leading to a convincing TKO in just the fourth round.

From the start Eubank Jr seemed to underestimate his opponent, stating “I think 50% of what I can be will be enough to beat Liam, he’s predictable”. To this, an infuriated Smith replied: “You turn up 50% and we’ll soon see”.

Clearly, this approach from Eubank Jr backfired, by belittling Smith as much as he did, this provided Smith with that extra motivation to knock him out.

“50%” Liam Smith knocking out Chris Eubank Jr in the fourth round (Photo credits: Alamy-free to use).

Approach for round 2:

With Smith sweeping aside the fiasco of the press conferences, it’s interesting to see how both fighters approach this next fight.

Many would imagine a more conservative approach from Eubank Jr after such an early round defeat, but the early signs show Eubank is back again with the mind games.

Taking to Instagram on Tuesday to wish Smith a happy Valentines Day suggests Eubank Jr is ready to do it all again and is already doing anything he can to get under his opponent’s skin.

Despite being outclassed and outworked when the pair last met, we can expect Eubank Jr to be dismissive of Smith’s good work on the night.

After Smith’s impressive victory, Roy Jones (Eubank’s trainer) suggested that an elbow from Smith might have been a leading factor in the resulting knock down.

In response to Eubank Jr’s allegations, Smith clapped back saying “Nobody believes you. You’re embarrassing yourself”.

Smith also told Eubank “If that’s the case just take the rematch”. Just when fans thought this rivalry couldn’t get much more heated, it looks like the bad blood will continue into the next fight.

Smith will be spurred on by Eubank Jr’s allegations (Photo credits-Alamy- free to use).

Both fighters were responsible for producing box office entertainment on and off the canvas and fans can expect more of the same with the rematch. Will Eubank Jr be able to back his chat in the ring, or will Smith let his actions in the ring speak louder?