By: Sean Crose
If you’ve never seen it, you may well be interested in checking out the first fight between Chris Eubank Sr and Nigel Benn on YouTube. The 1990 bout is a prime example of premiere level boxing. Like an action flick from the era, each fighter gives a high octane, polished, and extremely violent performance. Eubank ends up stopping his man in the ninth before moving on to fight Benn to a draw three years later. It’s quite a saga – two exceptional English athletes going head to head for glory, prestige and world titles. It only makes sense, then, that now, thirty years later, the sons of each fighter should engage in battle.
And so, this Saturday at London’s O2 arena, Eubank’s son, Chris Jr, will slip in between the ropes to face Benn’s son, Conor, in a 12 round affair. This isn’t only big news in England, it’s big news throughout the fight world. The match is, in a sense, a promoter’s dream. Credit Matchroom honcho Eddie Hearn for providing fans with a bout that is clearly drawing interest. Is a fight between these two young men a good thing, however? Eubank Sr doesn’t seem to think so. In fact, he wants his son’s weekend fight boycotted by fans – and not due to some far fetched reasoning either.
“Boycott the fight,” he said in a statement sent to The Fight Is Right podcast. “You know what three pounds beneath the middleweight limit at 33-years-old can do. This is how brain injuries occur.” Sure enough, the younger Eubank will have to weigh in at three pounds below the middleweight limit he generally operates in. When it comes to boxing, three pounds can be a lot. Likewise, the younger Benn – who generally operates as a welterweight – must move up almost two weight divisions if he wants to be comparable in size to Eubank. Again, weight switches in boxing can, at times, have serious consequences. As can considerable size differences between the two combatants.
While there’s no doubt Saturday’s match will be in the hands of professionals all around and that proper safety precautions will be as much of a focus as possible (boxing is a violent sport, after all), the senior Eubank puts a premium on fighter safety. As the Daily Mail reports: “Eubank Sr himself inflicted a near-fatal injury on Michael Watson in their WBO super-middleweight clash in 1991, and has now become an outspoken figure on the dangers of headshots.”
The decision to fight this Saturday, however, is not up to the parents, but the fighters themselves. Here’s hoping for an entertaining affair void of serious physical damage.
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