Conor Benn admits ‘gamble’ against Chris Eubank Jr in ‘legacy fight’

·4-min read
Conor Benn, pictured, will face Chris Eubank Jr on October 8 in the third instalment of the family rivalry (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)
Conor Benn, pictured, will face Chris Eubank Jr on October 8 in the third instalment of the family rivalry (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Conor Benn is no stranger to shutting out external noise and insists he will do it again to stay on course for a world title shot by winning his “legacy fight” with Chris Eubank Jr.

The sons of two of British boxing’s biggest stars from the 1990s will clash at the O2 Arena on October 8, almost 29 years to the day since their fathers fought for a second time.

Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank produced two thrilling world title bouts, the first in 1990 which went the way of the latter before a draw occurred three years later but the trilogy was never forthcoming until the children of the pair took it upon themselves to write the third instalment of the rivalry.

“There has always been a lot of outside noise but you put the blinkers on and stay focused on what you have got to do. I will do that no problem,” Benn, 25, told the PA news agency.

“I mean this is definitely a legacy fight, a fantasy fight and one for the supporters but world title is the main goal.”

DAZN will show Benn versus Eubank Jr live on pay-per-view with the bout coming under a catchweight category, understood to be at 157lbs, due to the varying weights of the two boxers.

Welterweight Benn fought at 146.5lbs for his April demolition of Chris van Heerden while Eubank Jr, who has boxed at super-middleweight in the past, came in at 160lbs in February when he beat Liam Williams on points in a one-sided contest.

Middleweight Eubank Jr will carry the height and weight advantage but Benn has no qualms about stepping into the ring against an opponent who is also seven years older at 32 and turned professional five years earlier in 2011.

He added: “Any fight at this level is a gamble. When you are talking (Keith) Thurman, (Yordenis) Ugas, Jose Ramirez, you are talking about a gamble so that goes neither here or there.

“When you step up to fight anyone top-five globally, there is always a risk element.

“The weight for me is not an issue. We were just miles apart from when I started (in 2016) and where he was at, but that gap has closed massively. We’re both top-five fighters globally and the best fighters in our divisions in the country so why not make the fight?”

Benn first watched the historic clashes between his dad and Eubank at the beginning of his teenage years.

‘Born Rivals’ is the official title of the all-British contest but while Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) insists a meeting with Eubank Jr (32-2, 23 KOs) was inevitable, it was never one he initially craved.

“He is happy the fight is happening and it’s done and sealed,” Benn said of his father Nigel, who was a world champion at two different weights across a nine-year professional career.

I mean this is definitely a legacy fight, a fantasy fight and one for the supporters but world title is the main goal

Conor Benn

“Since I turned pro our names were always linked because of the old men’s rivalry.

“I never sat down and thought, ‘I really want that fight’ but I thought the fight was inevitable, it was always going to happen.

“They were just great fights, it was a great rivalry and they were entertainers. That is what they did for the British public, they captured the imagination of the public and they delivered.”

Now it is the turn of the youngest Benn and Eubank Jr to try and live up to the hype created by their fathers during two blockbuster contests where a brutal first clash went the way of Eubank via a ninth-round stoppage while the second at Old Trafford finished as a draw.

Benn was deducted a point during the sequel in Manchester and it cost him victory over a foe now declared a friend, but his son is eager to give the family an overdue win in the rivalry.

He insisted: “Just ready to get out there and put all this to bed. I will set the score straight.”