I remember watching the 90’s boxing rivalry between middleweight kings Nigel “The Dark Destroyer” Benn and Chris “Simply The Best” Eubank Sr. as a youth and those were some of the best matches in British boxing history.
The two champs put on a show when they fought and really brought out the best in each other.
Both Benn and Eubank were two weight champions, owning titles in the middleweight and super middleweight divisions and their first meeting in 1990 was at the 160 pound limit for Benn’s WBO title, Eubank who was undefeated entered the arena with Bravado and Benn vowed a knockout.
Prior to the fight I and many other Brits favored Benn to win, he was coming off a massively impressive title defense in the USA against the American Iran “The Blade” Barkley, he stopped him in one round and Benn was looking unstoppable.
The first meeting ended with the flamboyant Eubank getting the TKO and the WBO title, it would be the first belt for Eubank and he won it with a bang.
That fight made Eubank a huge star in the UK. They would rematch three years later in the super middleweight division of 168 pounds, the bout ended in a Draw but the fans were the winner they fought tooth and nail and the 12th round both fighters were spent and trading blows going for the KO.
Chris Eubank vs. Nigel Benn II: Round 12
YouTube upload by SHOWTIME Sports
After that rematch we thought a third bout would happen, but due to a contract dispute between promoters Don King and Barry Hearn they never had a rubbermatch.
Some would say that the rivalry was never fully shut. When they rematched and it ended in a Draw and they never had the third fight to settle the score, it left us with a blank chapter in the boxing history book.
Now decades later, the offspring of Benn and Eubank will square off on October 8, 2022 in front of packed O2 Arena in London.
Conor Benn the son of Nigel Benn, is a top rising prospect in the welterweight division and he goes by the moniker “The Destroyer” an ode to his father’s nickname. He is undefeated and also packs serious power with 14 of his 21 victories coming by way of knockout. Conor will step up two weight classes to 157 pounds to face off with Chris Eubank Jr.
Eubank Jr. campaigned at 168 pounds, and 160 pounds and for this bout with Benn he will fight at a catchweight of 157 pounds.
The weight issue is concerning to me. In boxing fighters and managers make calculated matchmaking moves and in this situation the 26-year-old Conor Benn has more upside than the 33-year-old Chris Eubank Jr who has already lost twice.
Conor wants this fight for his father. Nigel was never able to get his payback for the loss to Eubank Sr. in 1993 so the younger Conor will give some form of closure to him by knocking out or beating the son of his fathers legendary rival.
I just don’t see Conor losing this fight. He is younger, will enter the ring fresher, he has never lost, and Eubank Jr. is older, and the weight cut will definitely have some serious implications for him.
I’ve seen it countless times in boxing when fighters try to go back down in weight, it usually doesn’t end well for them.
Even though Conor is a natural 147 pounder, he will be much stronger and he is able to eat what he wants to maintain energy during camp and it will show in the fight. Eubank Jr. will have to ration his meals and deprive his body of nutrients just to maintain a lower weight so entering the ring he will not be at his optimal physical condition.
What I see happening is Conor will start strong and make sure to punish the body and break down Eubank Jr, the only way I see Eubank Jr. winning is if he lands a hard punch to the chin and pulls off some type of crazy fluke knockout, but I don’t see that happening.
I will always take a younger fighter who is hungrier, and fresher, over an aging fighter who has to drain themself to make weight.
Don’t be surprised if Conor Benn stops Chris Eubank Jr. either TKO or KO.