Sky Sports apologise after Liam Smith aims ‘offensive and homophobic’ insults at Chris Eubank Jr
Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith were involved in a vicious war of words in their final press conference that left Sky Sports presenters apologising for ‘offensive’ and ‘homophobic’ remarks.
The middleweight rivals meet on Saturday in Manchester but exchanged insults before the media on Thursday afternoon.
Smith, the former WBO light-middleweight champion, made repeated comments suggesting Eubank Jr is gay, questioning why the Brighton fighter has never been pictured with a partner.
‘Has anyone in this room ever seen you with a girl?’ Smith said. ‘Have you got something to tell us because you are 33, you said on the programme “when I have kids…”
‘No laughs or nothing now, do you want to tell us something? Because no one in this room has ever seen you with a woman.’
Eubank Jr calmly responded: ‘Listen, my private life is my private life, it’s irrelevant to boxing. But I’m happy, I’m comfortable. If you have a personal question to ask me you can ask me right now or slide into my DMs.’
Smith ended the exchange with another unsavoury dig, commenting: ‘I’m not that type of way mate, I like women.’
Focus briefly switched back to boxing until Smith began questioning Eubank’s hairline. During a previous ‘Gloves Are Off’ exchange, Eubank Jr had made fun of his rivals grey hair which he has had since his late 20s. In response, Smith shared two pictures of Eubank side-by-side seven years apart on social media, taunting him over his ‘trip to Turkey’ to address his ‘daft hairline’.
With Smith bringing it up again at the press conference, Eubank Jr initially attempted to brush it aside before deciding to get ‘dark and personal’ with a dig over his opponent’s personal life.
‘It’s a bit fruity isn’t it? Talking about another man’s beard and hair,’ Eubank Jr said. ‘You are asking me if I’m gay, you are asking me about my beard and hair. I have a great barber, I can introduce you if you want.
‘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 every occasion. Glass houses mate. Let’s relax on the personal insults. I would rather be gay than a cheat, how about that?’
After the press conference, the two engaged in a tense stare-ff before Sky Sports Anna Woolhouse apologised for the language used
‘We did have an inkling that would get spicy but before we get stuck into it, we do want to apologise for any of the language that may have been used and offended you and any of the homophobic comments,’ she said. ‘The back and forth between them, it just went way below the belt and wasn’t necessary, it just didn’t need that and there are no excuses.’
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