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Liam Smith to rematch Chris Eubank Jr and Savannah Marshall to challenge Franchon Crews-Dezurn on Sky Sports Box Office

A huge night of action is coming to Sky Sports Box Office when Liam Smith continues his intense rivalry with Chris Eubank Jr and Savannah Marshall challenges Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the undisputed super-middleweight title at the AO Arena in Manchester on June 17

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A look back at how one of the sport's most intense rivalries culminated in an unforgettable victory for Liam Smith over Chris Eubank Jr

Liam Smith will rematch Chris Eubank Jr and Savannah Marshall will challenge Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the undisputed super-middleweight world title on June 17, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

The huge night of action headlined by Smith vs Eubank II and featuring Crews-Dezurn vs Marshall and more is set for the AO Arena in Manchester.

Smith and Eubank developed a fierce rivalry which began with a bitterly contested sparring session and continued when Smith, a former super-welterweight world champion, stepped up to 160lbs to fight Eubank Jr in January.

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Chris Eubank Jr says Liam Smith landed a 'once in a lifetime' punch as he suffered a fourth-round stoppage loss to his British rival in Manchester

Smith won the first bout with a spectacular knockout finish in the fourth round.

That was the standout moment in Smith's career so far, even though the Liverpool man was already a highly decorated professional fighter.

Smith, now a 34-year-old veteran, made his professional debut in 2008. He won the British and Commonwealth titles and in 2015 stopped Apollo Thompson in Manchester to win the WBO super-welterweight world title.

He made two successful defences of the world championship before travelling to Texas in 2016 to fight Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

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Watch back Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith, with an explosive support cast, in slow motion

Alvarez, who would go on to win a world title at light-heavyweight and go undisputed at super-middleweight, halted Smith.

But the Liverpudlian rebuilt. He picked up two wins over Liam Williams before challenging Jaime Munguia for his old world title.

He was denied in Las Vegas but continued to improve. A hotly disputed decision went against him when he fought Magomed Kurbanov in Russia in 2021.

Then Smith stopped his home town rival, Olympian Anthony Fowler at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

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Watch unseen footage of Liam Smith's sensational stoppage victory over Chris Eubank Jr in Manchester at the weekend

In 2022 he fought Jesse Vargas, a former world champion who had fought Manny Pacquiao. Smith hammered the American at Madison Square Garden in New York.

He returned to Liverpool to move up to middleweight when he overwhelmed Hassan Mwakinyo later that year.

But despite that track record of accomplishment, few expected him to handle Eubank Jr in the manner that he did in January.

Eubank himself described the finishing blow Smith landed as a "once in a lifetime" shot.

Eubank Jr activated the rematch clause in their contract and after a period of negotiation the second fight has been set for June 17, exclusively on Sky Sports Box Office, at the Manchester Arena once again.

The Brighton star is taking a risk by going into an immediate rematch with Smith but believes that he can secure his revenge when they fight a second time.

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One day after his victory over rival Chris Eubank Jr, Liam Smith celebrated his win with some Sunday League!

"Liam had the night of his life against me in January, the stars aligned for him in Manchester, and he went away with a big win," Eubank Jr said.

"But lightning doesn't strike twice. If he even has the slightest thought that he can beat me again, then great, because it will be his undoing."

Eubank Jr has been a professional fighter for more than 10 years and has been fighting at a high level since he boxed Billy Joe Saunders for the British, Commonwealth and European middleweight titles in 2014.

He lost a close call in that fight but bounced back with a run of six stoppage victories.

Eubank Jr beat former WBO super-middleweight world champion Arthur Abraham before entering the World Boxing Super Series. He scored a stunning knockout victory over Avni Yildirim to win his first bout in that tournament.

Despite a strong finish, he lost a unanimous decision to George Groves when he challenged him for the WBA super-middleweight title.

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Liam Smith stuns Chris Eubank Jr with a sensational stoppage in the fourth-round, and now Eubank Jr has triggered his option for a re-match

He came back from that well, manhandling James DeGale, the two-time super-middleweight world champion, to record one of the best wins in his career.

Eubank Jr took another key victory when he beat Matvey Korobov in Brooklyn. Last year he set himself up for the Smith fight when he beat Liam Williams in Cardiff, dropping the Welshman four times en route to a unanimous decision win.

Smith is certain he can repeat his victory in their June 17 rematch. Eubank Jr, training with coach Roy Jones Jr in Las Vegas, is determined to prove he can reverse the result and put himself on course for further world level fights.

Whoever of them comes through, their second collision is bound to be explosive.

"I know he tried his best to go a different route but the fight is on now and I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say for himself in the build up. Let's see what angle he comes with this time," Smith said.

"He can't come with angles about how he's never been hurt, he's never been dropped, he's never been stopped, because he just had all three of those things happen to him in one night and it was me who did it to him.

"So I'm interested to see what he comes with this time and I'm also interested to see where he goes after I beat him again on June 17."

But Wasserman's Head of Global Boxing, Kalle Sauerland said: "Hell hath no fury like a Eubank scorned and there was no chance Chris was going to let this one lie. He's a wounded animal and this makes him extremely dangerous.

"No sooner had the fight finished, then Chris made it clear that he wanted to trigger the rematch clause and on June 17, he gets his shot at revenge. Smith, you have been warned. Beast mode is on!"

Major undisputed fight for Marshall

A major undisputed championship fight has been set for the June 17 card. Savannah Marshall will challenge Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super-middleweight world titles.

"I'm grateful to BOXXER and Hennessy Sports for getting this fight over the line. This is a big fight for me and a chance to become a two-weight world champion," Marshall said.

Franchon Crews-Dezurn will fight Savannah Marshall live on Sky Sports Box Office
Image: Franchon Crews-Dezurn will fight Savannah Marshall live on Sky Sports Box Office

It will be Marshall's second consecutive undisputed championship fight after her groundbreaking clash with Claressa Shields at the O2 Arena last year.

The Hartlepool star was an established world champion at middleweight, winning the WBO belt against Hannah Rankin in 2020 and making successful defences against Maria Lindberg, Lolita Muzeya and Femke Hermans.

The decision loss to the outstanding Shields was the first defeat of Marshall's professional career.

She is looking to bounce back against another top-level American and has moved up a weight class.

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Watch the Story of Shields v Marshall on Sky Sports

Like Marshall, the only opponent Crews-Dezurn has to lost to as a professional is Shields, whom she boxed in her first pro bout in 2016.

A super-middleweight throughout her career, Crews-Dezurn won the WBC title against Maricela Cornejo two years after her fight with Shields.

She won the rematch against Cornejo in 2019 to unify the WBC and WBO belts before impressing further last year when she put in a determined performance to overcome the previously undefeated Elin Cederroos to go undisputed at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Already a champion, Crews-Dezurn has pursued Marshall. She lost to her rival as an amateur and travelled to London to call out Marshall immediately after the Briton's bout with Shields.

"I'm so excited that my team and BOXXER were finally able to get this fight done. I'm looking forward to fighting in Manchester, England, especially against a competitor like Savannah Marshall, who has represented the UK for many years just as I have represented the United States for many years, including as amateurs," Crews-Dezurn said.

"This fight has been over 10 years in the making and it's going to be one for the history books. I love to elevate women's boxing and put on a great display for the people here in the UK. The fans have embraced women's boxing so much here and I'm coming for the win, regardless of being in Savannah's backyard or any other adversity stacked against me. I'm full confident in myself and my team and I look forward to putting on a great show for the people."

For Marshall the fight with Crews-Dezurn is not only a huge event in itself but victory will catapult back into the top level of world boxing and potentially even put her on course for a rematch with Shields.

Ben Shalom, BOXXER Founder and CEO, said: "Liam Smith will be looking for a repeat as Chris Eubank Jr goes in search of revenge in an absolute must-win, at the scene of their first fight in a rivalry that has gripped that nation.

"And Savannah Marshall will have restitution in mind when she takes on the queen of the super-middleweight division Franchon Crews-Dezurn in an all or nothing collision for 168lbs glory where Savannah could create history by becoming a two-weight world champion.

"This is a huge box office night - and I cannot wait."

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