The great Chris Eubank Snr, British superstar boxer of the Nineties, talks deeply regarding history, dues being paid and controversial officiating/judging.
On if he wished he fought in Madison Square Garden or Vegas in his prime:
The pre-renovated MSG – the historic MSG – nobody fought in the great building more than I in such a short period, or attended as many fights.
I was there in the Forum all the time and I mean it when I say that it’s not a church to me but it is Holy Ground.
Spiritually, I would’ve felt at home defending my world championship there. But it never occurred.
Spiritually it didn’t appeal to me to fight in Las Vegas, a city of sin, because I considered myself a saint of sorts; I had a God-fearing mother.
Don King dangled that carrot, and I was the one who was strong enough to not be lured.
On coming up the hard way:
You have to pay your dues. York Hall, the Royal Albert Hall; I fought in these venues maybe 8-9 times on the way up as a professional. Sometimes on very short notice for a very small purse; sometimes less than four-figures.
You’re in the back of a car, traveling to a small venue, trying to prepare mentally because you need some money.
You cannot expect to win the world championship while already living comfortably. It requires hunger, tunnel drive, eye of the tiger; yeah?
On mastering the craft taking time:
There’s not just the right hand, you then have the left hook, the right uppercut, the left uppercut, the right hook to the body, the left uppercut to the body; many particular blows that require years and years of practice to actually learn.
Armed and dangerous, right? My first 4-5 fights were four-round decision wins. I’m not fully armed yet. I’m still learning, correcting and streamlining my arsenal and that’s just repetition and time.
You can’t be fast-tracked. You have to be doing it in sparring.
On never dodging opposition:
There was no step-aside money in my time. You had to actually get in there and fight. The best fought the best, the fights the public demanded were made. And no wincing in there.
Both myself and Michael Watson had no hesitation signing the rematch one or two weeks after we fought the first time, we didn’t lose our pens when it was put to us.
We knew it would be a gladiatorial battle of sorts, two closely matched specimens, 5’10 or 5’11 yet possessing the musculature of a large light-heavy or small cruiser, even more so this new weight class above middleweight – namely super-middle – being put to us; you know?
25-26 years old, both physically peaking in 1991. To fight the same man 2-3 months on, the situation was there could be no situation where there’s less ring rust or less needing for finding of distance, timing the other man and what have you.
We knew it could end violently. The crowd and media beforehand stirred us into this dynamite pace set at the first bell. Listen to the words that’d been exchanged, the contempt from both sides. We got in there, we didn’t wince and we left it all in there.
On his first pro defeat:
I never believed Steve Collins was even in my league, let alone could defeat me.
If you are the champion and you knock your opponent down twice and say it’s about 50/50 the rest of the fight, you can’t lose a decision. It’s impossible.
But it is what it is. The real story is that I defended my championship against an Irishman in Ireland on St Patrick’s weekend.
On close decisions in his famed career:
I know I won that first (Carl) Thompson fight and Carl knows it, too. That’s just between me and him. I can have no complaints because I was perhaps lucky to get the draw against (Nigel) Benn and the decision over (Dan) Schommer.
The referee took a point from Benn for a low blow, and the judges appreciated my aggression against Schommer.
It’s all horses for courses.