Liam Smith’s Trainer Claims His Fighter Received ‘Threats,’ Cusumano’s Failed Test

November 15, 2023
5 months

Liam Smith’s trainer, Joe McNally, has spoken out about the pressure that his fighter felt to face Chris Eubank Jr. on a date that was not advantageous for him.

Smith suffered a loss, as he was stopped in the tenth round following two knockdowns in the fight. In the aftermath of the fight, Smith admitted that the weight cut had taken its toll on him.

This was due to the fact that he had lost a reported 42 pounds after having blown up to cruiserweight during his time out with injury.

The fight had been postponed on two occasions. The two fight dates of June 17th, 2023 and July 1st, 2023, were called off as Smith was not ready. The new date of September 2nd, 2023, was agreed, but not to everyone’s satisfaction.

Smith’s Trainer Not Happy

“This is a fact, my own self, as his coach, said, ‘Son, there’s no way you can fight this date. You’re too heavy. You’re gonna need at least eight to 10 weeks to get the weight off. On the consensus that his back wasn’t 100% to do his road work, to put the work in to get the weight off to start camp. It’s a bit harsh. His weight was good until the injury. [Smith said], ‘No, I’ll do it, I’ll do it, I’ll do it,” Smith

This naturally begs the question: why was the fight not rescheduled for a later date? McNally admitted that there was pressure to get the fight on due to the threat of Eubank facing Conor Benn instead.

This was despite the fact that Benn is currently undergoing an appeal process as he aims to prove his innocence following two failed VADA tests for Clomophene. And yet, the prospect of the fight slipping away was something that made Smith go ahead with it.

Smith Received Threats

“I said to Liam, you can’t fight this date. Look, the facts that I got is, well, if I don’t accept this date, Chris is gone. I’ve lost the fight. Then he’s left in limbo, which the fight he got threatened with is Chris is gonna fight Conor Benn. But that fight was never going to happen anytime soon.

“And then the other threat is if we changed the date—so when you’re training and your back’s f—– you need to go and get a doctor’s report and evaluation. He’s injured still. Sauerlands would sue Liam and the promotion and Sky for loss of earnings. That’s a fact,” McNally

Cusumano’s Failed Test

Meanwhile, Joe Cusumano has reportedly failed a drug test after an ‘adverse analytical finding’ was found. This was following his win over Adam Kownacki on June 24th, 2023.

That is according to Matchroom Boxing. The news follows what was arguably the biggest win of Cusumano’s career, as he stopped Kownacki in the eighth round.

This was on the back end of a loss against Daniel Dubois. Although the exact nature of the drug in question is not known, the finding is likely to reverse the result if Cusumano cannot prove his innocence.

“Matchroom can today confirm that Joe Cusumano returned an adverse analytical finding as part of an anti-doping protocol mandated by the New York State Athletic Commission following his bout with Adam Kownacki on 24 June.

“We understand a process is underway with the New York State Athletic Commission and Matchroom now defers to the applicable regulatory authorities on the next steps. Whilst we are disappointed by the news, this affirms Matchroom’s ultimate desire to regularly test active fighters and ensure we continue to promote a clean and fair sport for all athletes. We will not be making any further comment,” Matchroom statement

This is the last thing that boxing and Matchroom needs in the sport. Conor Benn, Dillian Whyte and Alycia Baumgardner’s recent failed tests showed that there needs to be tough measures taking against banned substances.

Although the increasing number of failed tests is alarming, it will increase the need to take tougher measures. And that can only be a good thing.

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