By Samuel Lee
Chris Eubank Snr quick Question & Answer Nov ’20
The legendary Chris Eubank Snr on a visit to Dubai to see friends gives insights into his unique boxing history.
Prediction of Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr:
It is an exhibition.
Prediction of Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce:
I’ve not seen enough of these gentlemen.
Prediction of Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua:
I can’t comment because COVID-19 is the great equalizer. Empty arenas, postponements and what have you – this isn’t what either have had to deal with before.
If he ever had ambition to collect other belts:
Yes, we all wanted to unite all the titles when we were in our early twenties but it was never possible in the 90s.
I was the first fighter to speak of uniting all four titles after I beat Benn but it turned out I would have to of sold my soul to do so, which I wasn’t prepared to do; unlike so many – if not all – others.
Why we never saw the transatlantic dream bouts:
Instead of being a prostitute for the promoters – then Don King and Bob Arum in the United States for instance – I stood tall and changed the game for the better.
Their fighters were hard enough to beat on their own, but with their influence I would’ve had it all to do and then some and then be tied to them regardless.
We left it marginally too late, because I lost twice to Collins and then they wouldn’t fight me – why would they?
When I got the call to face Joe Calzaghe for the title, I couldn’t believe my luck. I wanted respect, I had the money but I didn’t have the respect – I got it after that.
On his hardest night:
The Watson number two fight. It was vicious, bitter; like a public execution. At some point, you have to stand up and be counted and prove your worth.
Thoughts on legacies:
I missed my chance to become a great fighter on record by failing to beat Collins in the rematch, losing fair and square and making no excuses.
To become a legend of your own time though is that pyramid top. That’s what Nigel Benn achieved by defeating Gerald McClellan – he won the fight he couldn’t win; knocked down and battered and still winning against a vicious opponent.
You witness it ‘real time’, where you’d bet everything on one man losing and they win. That only can be undone by refusing to take another beating.
I actually learned to box in New York. I lived in The Bronx from 16 to 21 and dedicated my life to boxing – no nightclubs, no drinking, no girls.
It was a baptism of fire if there ever was one because I faced World #1 Mark Breland at 17, fought in the 1985 Golden Gloves semi finals in front of 17-19,000 at 18; when they did two-minute rounds to fit in all the semis, and turned Pro at just turned 19!
My first trainer was Andy Martinez, who looked just like Mickey from Rocky. And the gyms I trained in were just like where Apollo Creed took Rocky to train. I hadn’t ever seen the Rocky movies at this point.
The exact Adidas boots Stallone wore for Rocky IV, I already owned in September 1985 when they were first released, for my Pro debut.
Simply the Best:
I faced Anthony Logan in my 12th Pro fight – he was rated 16 by the WBC and nearly beat Nigel Benn, who had all the coverage and all the hype. It was on a Benn undercard. My next fight sold 50 tickets with no TV.
From February 1986 to February 1988 I had only one fight – a four-rounder on a Top Rank card against a fighter of a southpaw stance of which I wasn’t expecting – and Bob Arum left after only one round after being told to watch and sign me.
By 1990 I beat Arum’s golden boy Benn for the title.