“We don’t discriminate… we don’t alienate. We want boxing & sport as a whole, to be all inclusive.”
That was the message posted on Twitter by British boxer Chris Eubank Jr., a day after his upcoming opponent Liam Smith suggested he was gay at a pre-fight news conference. The post showed Eubank wearing a Pride armband at the weigh-in leading up to their Saturday middleweight fight in Manchester.
Wil Esco of SB Nation’s Bad Left Hook has the background from the news conference:
“You slid into my DMs,” Eubank Jr said during an exchange with Smith. “You sent me a direct message. I’m used to seeing girls in my DMs, I’m not used to seeing guys I’m about to fight.”
“You’re going on about girls, mate. Has anyone in this room ever seen you with a girl?” Smith shot back. “Have you got something to tell us, really? Because you’re 33, you said on the program when you’ll have kids. For no laughs, no nothing, do you want to tell us something? You’re putting pictures up of Neymar in limousines. Do you want to tell us something?” Smith continued. “Because nobody in this room has ever seen you with a woman.”
After a few back-and-forth insults about hairlines, Eubank called out Smith:
“You’re asking me if I’m gay, you’re talking about my beard and my hair — I have a great barber, I can introduce you if you want,” Eubank Jr responded.
“Your barber tattooed your hair,” Smith said.
“If you want to get personal with it, 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 the occasion,” Eubank Jr replied. “So let’s just relax with the personal stuff. I’d rather be gay than a cheat, how about that.”
“You don’t got a misses to cheat on,” Smith shot back.
Today, in a great clapback, Eubank posted his message of inclusion on Twitter:
We don’t discriminate… we don’t alienate. We want boxing & sport as a whole, to be all inclusive. pic.twitter.com/coyvvV0HM8— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) January 20, 2023
Sky Sports had to apologize to its viewers for the homophobic remarks, and the event caused the Sun to opine, “British boxing raced back into the gutter for a dismal start to 2023 with homophobic jibes.”
I love Eubank’s tweet and his embrace of inclusion. I also hope he wins by knockout Saturday night. (Update: It was Smith who won the fight, by fourth-round knockout).