When you think of boxing rivalries many names come to mind. Ali vs Frazier, Fury vs Wilder, Hearns Vs Leonard. But perhaps one of the fiercest and most brutal rivalries not only in British boxing history but also in world boxing history is Chris Eubank vs Nigel Benn.
The two absolutely hated each other. Benn champion at the time of their first fight didn’t believe and give into the hype around Eubank at the time and was sick of Eubank’s boasting and god complex behaviour while Eubank believed he could beat Benn and that he was simply too good he also believed that Benn’s rise to becoming the Middleweight champion wasn’t as difficult as he’s own rise to the top stating “I didn’t come up the easy way, I came up hard. I didn’t have Frank Warren, I didn’t have Ambrose Mendy” the two were completely different and that’s what made the rivalry so great.
Their first fight came in November 1990. Benn was the champion having beaten the former Middleweight champion, Doug Dewitt, to win the WBO Middleweight championship. Eubank vs Benn 1 was exactly what the fans wanted a back-and-forth battle between two middleweight superstars. Eubank was slick with his hands down and precision counter-attacking while Benn possessed ungodly power and he proved to people time and time again why he was known as “The Dark Destroyer”. The pace was unrelenting no one wanted to give an inch to the other fighter until in round 8 Eubank was caught with an overhand right many thought it was the beginning of the end for Eubank who was down on two judges’ scorecards. The fight enters round 9 and then BANG!
Eubank cracked Benn with a ferocious right hand straight down the pipe which stiffened the legs of Benn. Eubank saw his opportunity and poured on the pressure throwing lefts, rights and uppercuts before the ref eventually stopped the fight with less than 5 seconds to go. And Chris Eubank was now the Middleweight champion of the world.Embed from Getty Images
The two would fight again 3 years later this time for the WBO and WBC super-middleweight belts another thrilling fight ensued this time ending in a draw. Now almost 32 years on from the first fight. Eubank vs Benn will happen again, however, this time Nigel and Chris Sr will be at ringside rather than in the ring as this fight will be against Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr.
The two are scheduled to battle in an October 8th showdown at the O2 arena at a catchweight of 157 lbs and it will be at a weight which is uncommon for both fighters as Benn normally fights at 147 lbs while Eubank Jr has fought no lower than 160 lbs. Eubank has fought a plethora of notable opponents such as Billy Joe Saunders, George Groves, Liam Williams and James Degale.
The fighter has looked a lot more content and switched on under his new trainer the legendary Roy Jones Jr racking up comfortable wins against Marcus Morrison, Wanik Awdijan and most recently Liam Williams. Eubank Jr’s record currently stands at 32 wins and 2 losses.
Then in the other corner, you have Conor Benn following in his father’s footsteps he is known as ‘The Destroyer and he has certainly lived up to that name presenting vicious knockout power he has scored notable wins against Chris Algieri, Samuel Vargas, Chris Van Heerden and Sebastian Formella. Benn has shown to have great success with his trainer Tony Sims and has shown a steady improvement in his overall boxing skills and experience. A fight against Eubank Jr has been teased for a while but many thought that it would not be set up this early into Benn’s career.Embed from Getty Images
My Prediction – Eubank Jr TKO
I think there are a lot of factors that play into this fight Benn will have to add 10 lbs to reach the fight weight of 157lbs while Eubank Jr will have to drop 3 lbs and both fighter’s weights will have to be spot on as its been revealed that every pound either Benn or Eubank Jr weighs in over the weight limit they will be fined a massive £80,000 so best be sure each fighter will be managing their weight with the most attention to detail. Both fighters are fighting to escape their family name and pave their own way to success Conor is fighting to finally get a win for the Benn family against the Eubanks.
Eubank Jr is fighting for possibly the biggest win of his career and to finally prove he’s the real deal. Overall I believe that the weight difference and experience difference will be too much for Benn to handle I feel that this fight has come too early in the career of Benn and I feel Eubank Jr’s footwork and elusiveness will be too much for Benn I feel recently we’ve seen a much more switched on Eubank and one that listens to his trainer a lot more I feel the extra weight will slow Benn down and Eubank will eventually pick him off and stop him in the later rounds. I do however think that this fight will be one for the ages and one that you won’t want to miss and whatever happens make sure you tune in on October 8th you can be sure Eubank Jr vs Benn is a fight you won’t want to miss