by Sam Lee
I caught up with European great Chris Eubank Sr in Vegas!
On his ultimate legacy
‘To my knowledge, there’s never been another millionaire world champion boxer who never either got themselves incarcerated, or never used illegal substances, or never dodged the mandatory contender to evade a defeat, or never quit to evade a beating, or never got counted out.
‘When you ween the rest out, there is only one. And that’s Chris Eubank. I want there to still only be one, Chris Eubank, in 10 or 50 years from now, but bodied twice in a second body; namely Junior. He’s the only one who will live up to the same standard set, because I raised him and teach him in the correct way and he possesses my DNA.
‘Can I just say: Muhammad Ali’s courageous, righteous stance in him being incarcerated is another level.’
On re-living his career through his son, Chris Jr
‘I want Christopher to clean up my regrets, in my name. The plan always was to unify all four world titles and I never got around to doing thus. My son will fight and beat everyone. To basque myself in the Union Jack flag when winning overseas in an opponents backyard, was something I forgot to do and so wish I had. Christopher will do that.
‘I’m going to enjoy the ride more than I ever enjoyed my own career, because I was so much in the thick of it then that I never really stopped to smell the roses.’
On being the best in the world in his day
‘I believe in 1990 I would’ve beaten everyone apart from, physically and potentially, Herol Graham. I was too big, strong, fast and young for Michael McCallum if I moved and too tough, strong, determined and persistent for Mike Nunn if he moved. I did knock out Graham with one punch in sparring in his backyard but he wouldn’t have fooled for the same trick twice, unless the people, lights and cameras caused an anxiety.
‘When I defended the middleweight world championship against Mike Watson in ’91 when I won the first five rounds with ease, I had to lose 19lb in four days so couldn’t stay at middleweight because Michael McCallum and James Toney would’ve stopped me on body shots in the later rounds!
‘Then the Watson II fatality left a mark on me, where it’s kind of like ‘why risk?’.’
On his own favorite fighters as a youngster
‘My favorite fighters? When I was coming up it was Thomas Hearns I admired most for his jabbing ability, and Pernell Whitaker for being aesthetically pleasing.’
On the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao super-fight
‘Boxing is a game of strategy and a matter of styles. Floyd can box in different styles, he can walk you down or fight off the ropes, he can stick it to you or move side-to-side. It depends.
‘I don’t like his(Mayweather) chances so much if he plants his feet too much because Manny Pacquiao is a lightning feinter which freezes you and he switches feet angles between then and releasing punches, which is why he is so effective when you don’t keep him following and reaching.
‘We know Floyd must lose at some point. Amir Khan has a strong chance to take the ‘0’ if he does get by this next one.’