Boxing nuggets of wisdom are dropped by a certain Chris Eubank Sr who talks of his early favorites in NYC, why he never fought Roy Jones Jr and just why he lost to Steve Collins in their pair of fights, amongst more.
On Deontay Wilder’s recent comments:
I can vouch for the integrity and sporting behavior of Mark Breland, Freddie Roach and Ricky Hatton because I faced all three in my 15-year sports career from 1983 to 1998. Mr Breland I faced in New York, Freddie was in the opposing corner of me against Gary Stretch and the second Collins fight and Ricky in the opposing corner for the second Thompson fight.
They’ve been around boxing forever at all levels including the very top, so they can be vouched for. That’s all I’m saying.
When I started, Mark Breland was the guy we all wanted to be. So it was all about straight shooting, foot movement and fast combinations; fighting straight upright.
Then Mike Tyson came along and we shifted gears into wanting to be like Mr Tyson in focusing on turning those knuckles over on hooks and uppercuts; fighting from crouches.
I went back to boxing, moving and jabbing when I fought Sugar Boy Malinga and Jim Watt had me winning widely. I throw this right hand on a loop at the end of the 5th, whipping it down from above his line of vision and re-clenching my fist at the point of impact as my knuckles grind down his jaw.
I didn’t think it would drop him because it had none of my body weight pivoted behind the punch. However I had just started working on grip and finger strength a lot with guitars, pianos, rope climbs and wringing dishcloths and what have you.
Malinga was never hurt like that, not from Roy Jones or Benn, and the bell saved him when he somehow scrambled his way back up to his feet.
The art and craft of boxing has always fascinated me.
Regarding Ronnie Davies in recent podcast with Tris Dixon insisting Eubank fought Steve Collins with the flu:
He’s referring to the second Collins fight but that’s no excuse because I was more often than not ill or injured in my fights and still won. I was never ever 99.5% apart from maybe three fights – a Canadian at Brentwood Centre, the German fight and just about the Wharton fight.
I threw many picture-perfect punches at Steven that night and he walked through them and kept coming like a madman, a donkey. He broke my rib very early in the first round, much to his credit, which didn’t help with breathing. Steven beat me fairly and squarely that night out there.
On importance of concrete fight dates:
The idea is to peak for the night of the fight. With the current covid climate, fight dates are changing. So a fighter may miss his peak. You can peak too soon or too late, if a fight is moved closer or moved back. More than likely moved back a date and a training taper very difficult to judge.
When I fought Steve Collins the first time on St Patrick’s weekend ’95, I had initially been preparing for a date in the February to face Ray Close again, yet Ray failed a brain scan and the fight was cancelled and then the fight with this Collins was hastily thrown together; meaning I had already peaked in the gym the month prior.
With this Collins fight only weeks away, I couldn’t take time out. So you miss a peak and that’s what AJ and Fury would need to be wary of as it can have a big bearing on a fight outcome. It took my perfect ‘0’, as they say, after 10 years.
On Roy Jones Jr:
Roy is not only one of the all-time greats, but one of the two or three best fighters – along with Roberto Duran and James Toney – to ever do this, pound-for-pound. If Christopher can take 10% from Roy, that’s enough to make him unstoppable in boxing.
Why didn’t I face Roy? My first and last daughter Emily Eubank was born in ’94, when I started my unprecedented deal with Sky, and having a daughter softened me.
A fight between me and Roy would’ve been a fight to the death, because I believe we both had powerful wills and were equally stubborn. We both had breathtaking punching abilities in our own techniques. My chin was frightening.
When I say a fight to the death, I don’t say that lightly. Do I say it literally? Possibly. I wanted to be around to protect my little girl.
I had eight trainers in New York and they were all either fired by me or fired me. The first was a gentleman called Andy Martinez, then Luis Camacho trained me at the Bronxchester gym for the Spanish Golden Gloves; which took place at Jerome Boxing Club, and Ludwig Lightburn was the one teaching me at my local Jerome gym at this time.
What Mr Lightburn said to me was that the right hand will take me around the block, but the scalpel – the jab – that can take me around the world. It took Mr Lightburn from poverty in a part below Mexico to headlining the Madison Square Gardens.
Then Maximo Pierret got rid of me after a few weeks and I trained myself mostly while observing Maximo train his professionals.
Pat Versace trained me for six months in 1985. Then Maximo took over for my first four professional fights. When I started going to Gleasons Gym, I had two trainers there – the great Sandy Saddler and Patrick Ford – who both encouraged me to fight from the outside range and utilize the jab. But I wanted to be more of an infighter and complete package, so I dropped them.
I am embarrassed that I dropped Mr Saddler quite abruptly, not having known of his legend through not knowing my boxing history too well. It was his way or the highway but still.
If you watch on YouTube the pre-fight to Naseem vs Soto on Sky Box Office, when Mr Saddler is mentioned as a great featherweight of the past; I kind of look embarrassed because I’m thinking of my cocky 20-year-old self thinking I knew more than he.
Lenny DeJesus also worked with me for a period. Then Ronnie Davies stayed as my overseer, and another guy who tried to train me at Matchroom Gym was Darkie Smith. So that’s nine trainers in total, settling on Ron. Ten if you include this Darkie Smith, and actually eleven if you include Walter Johnson; who was trying to mesh me into the world’s first martial artist-boxer.
Here’s something for you – boxing is actually the highest form of martial art, because you have to learn how to absorb punishment first before you can initiate it.