CHRIS Eubank Jr says the temptation to fight Conor Benn was put to one side because he needs to get some “payback” first.

It has been an eventful period in the 33-year-old’s career since last October. Seven months ago a catchweight bout against Benn was cancelled after his rival failed a drugs test for the banned substance clomifene.

Eubank didn’t get back in the ring until January in a middleweight clash against Liam Smith at Manchester Arena. Their own dislike for one another was ended in four rounds following an emphatic display from Smith.

One month later Eubank chose to use his rematch clause to face Smith once again, but the lure of fighting the now suspended Benn still remained.

“I definitely considered fighting Conor Benn next,” Eubank told Sky Sports. “Because when somebody puts millions and millions and millions of pounds in front of you and offers you a fight, you consider it. You don’t just turn it down.

“I was offered a substantial amount to fight Conor Benn overseas and I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the right time, it wasn’t the right place. The circumstances weren’t right.

“I want to get this guy [Smith] back for what he did and then I can move on.”

Smith-Eubank 2 had been due to take place on June 17 but was postponed until July 1 when Smith suffered an injury in training.

Despite the manner of the loss in January Eubank insists there are still many domestic and international fights which he can be involved in.

“But I have to get past Liam Smith,” he said. “I can’t go and fight these big names if I don’t take care of business. It’s payback time.”