Chris Eubank Sr Q&A
A catch-up session with Chris Sr in Brighton as his son Eubank Jr begins preparations for his May 9th title defense at Wembley Arena.
Will your boy Chris Jr avenge defeat if he ever gets the rematch with Billy Joe?
Let me explain something: I beat Nigel Benn and Michael Watson. Billy Joe Saunders isn’t a quarter of the fighter that either of those two were. My son is 15% better than I ever was.
It’s a massacre train wreck. It’s three rounds max, complete domination. I only hope for a brave referee, because I’m sure Billy Joe Saunders is brave. He needs to be protected! Do you get me?
Do you feel the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao fight might be the biggest in history?
It’s a big fight in terms of money, but in this day and age it’s almost like the bigger the money the smaller the exposure. You scale it down to make it as niche and closed circuit as possible to generate the most money that you can, almost. That’s what the sport, or business for want of a better word, has evolved into.
People aren’t talking about (the) Mayweather-Pacquiao fight because they’re not aware of them like they were of Muhammad Ali and Frank Bruno, Tyson and myself.
All boxing was terrestrially televised but we were the four who rose to the tip of the surface, if you like, and became the names on the tip of the tongues of every female in the land, let alone every male.
For the avid boxing aficionado and the American sports follower in the States, it’s huge and has been seven or eight years in the making, which is the length of an entire career for many fighters.
Was the underrated victory in Germany over an undefeated Graciano ‘Rocky’ Rocchigiani in his backyard the best victory of your career in hindsight?
He was very, very competent. It was an advantage to be overseas with the crowd against me, because I soaked in the negative energy through my nostrils, digested it and released it as positive poetry in my physical motion and punching, which bagged me the rounds and won me the fight.
It was so dominant and so thorough that the judges couldn’t rob me, and I can only thank the Rocchigiani supporters for that for the hate. It was a groundbreaking event, being the first ever pay-per-view fight in Europe and was through the network called Premiere.
To be fair to Graciano, I think he was in utter awe for the first four or five rounds that he was actually in the ring with me, so I bagged the rounds. I was a household figure in Germany by all accounts.
But he was good – he had very good, long, straight punching; a good, balanced southpaw stance, (an) incredible guard, (and) incredible timing. I had to be immaculate and I was. He then went on to better the extremely good German-based light-heavy world champs and the tremendous Michael Nunn, some decisions going against him and some for him, but he bettered them all.
He could punch, as shown by punching Mustafa Hamsho nearly out of the ring in the first minute, a man who Marvin Hagler could hardly dent or do much with.
Yes, it was a great win. But Watson II, by far, was the greatest.
What single solitary advice would you give to any up-coming talent in the game?
Be your own.
Would you care to elaborate?
Don’t give in. Be your own. That’s it. The reason Mickey Duff, Frank Warren, Frank Maloney and Barney Eastwood wouldn’t take up my offer of employment to manage me was because they couldn’t get over the fact that I spoke for me, I would think for me, (and) I would be for me.
From my perspective, they were going to be my client. I was the director because I was the fighter, and without the fighter there would be no fight game. So it’s right for the fighters to keep in mind that they are the employers, not the employees.
Me and Barry Hearn worked because he worked with me. I didn’t work for him, we worked together. When I signed the SKY contract, it was me who structured the entire deal; Barry Hearn worked with me on the deal, but it was my making. Be a pioneer is my advice, or you could be misused and not see money.
And spar hard and often.
What would you say was your best quality as a fighter?
Again, could you elaborate?
Being true to oneself, being proper. Do you take a knee if you don’t like the feeling of the punches? No. Do you pretend you’re injured if you don’t like the feeling of the punches? No.
I was criticized more than any fighter in history, yet with less reason to be criticized than any fighter I’m aware of. I never pulled out of a fight. I never looked for a way out. I was never even stopped during a round. Physically, you could say my chin may of been my best asset in a way.
My conduct in front of the press, which is all part of the job, was impeccable. I was clean, I was true to the form; I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke, I didn’t do drugs – I had no vices of any kind. I wouldn’t cut corners in training. You could say I was a detested saint!
Can Pacquiao beat Mayweather on May 2nd?
Every fighter can be beaten, every fighter can be knocked out. Floyd Jr is ruling the game like I was before I tasted defeat for the first time. I had the longest unbeaten record in boxing and was the most proficient earner in the game, and then I lost. When you’re the star of Bethlehem or a sitting angel, you’re a target where everyone wants to knock you off that perch.
Is Pacquiao hungry enough? He’s been a champion many times over many years and made much money, he was even awarded fighter of the decade ahead of Mayweather already. Steve Collins beat me when he was broke and had yet to taste the good stuff or be recognized.
Amir Khan is younger and hungrier, so is Kell Brook and (Keith) Thurman and (Tim) Bradley. I would say it’s more likely one of those guys beats Mayweather personally because it’s all about what’s in the fighters mind. When you become civilized or content, you’re at a disadvantage.