Promoter Ben Shalom is hopeful Liam Smith’s rematch with Chris Eubank Jr will take place in late August or early September amid an ongoing “frustrating” delay to the bout.
The British duo had been scheduled to face off on July 1 for a second bout at the AO Arena in Manchester, following Smith’s stunning stoppage victory over Eubank Jr in January.
However, the flaring up of a minor injury saw Smith request a delay to heal the issue, which Eubank Jr accepted.
While the delay was initially only expected to be a couple of weeks, Shalom admits he is still awaiting final confirmation from Smith that the Liverpudlian fighter will be ready to fight at the end of August.
“It’s a fight that was scheduled and has had to be rescheduled because of Liam Smith’s injury,” Shalom told Sky Sports News on Monday.
“It’s frustrating for him as much as anyone, but we can’t keep Chris Eubank Jr waiting forever.
“I did meet Kalle Sauerland (Eubank Jr’s promoter) last week. We expect a date to be finalised at the end of August, early September.”
Shalom’s comments come amid speculation that Eubank Jr could instead pursue a fight with Conor Benn, with whom he was meant to fight in October last year before Benn returned two positive drug tests for a banned substance.
“I know there’s been reports of things going on in the boxing world that we’re not a part of,” Shalom added. “But our understanding, as of last week, is the rematch will happen and it has just been very, very frustrating for both fighters.”
“I think myself and Kalle like a date at the end of August. We both like it. He’s got to speak to Chris Eubank Jr, and obviously Liam Smith has done everything he can to make sure he’s fit for that date.
“Hopefully we’re able to announce next week, but as is the case in boxing, we’ll see what happens – it’s been frustrating for both guys because both guys want the fight.
“We hoped to be fit for July, then early August, now end of August, but from speaking to Liam and his team, we’ll make sure that before the date is announced, he’s absolutely 100 per cent.”
Franchon Crews-Dezurn and Savannah Marshall are now headlining the event on Saturday July 1 live on Sky Sports, while Natasha Jonas will attempted to become a two-weight world champion as she faces Kandi Wyatt.
Also fighting at the AO Arena will be rising star Ben Whittaker, while Mark Heffron takes on Zak Chelli.