Family matters as ‘born rivals’ Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr set to fight it out in huge boxing grudge match

·3-min read
Chris Eubank (left) and Chris Eubank Jr will continue their rivalry with the Benn clan  (Getty Images)
Chris Eubank (left) and Chris Eubank Jr will continue their rivalry with the Benn clan (Getty Images)

Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn will settle “unfinished business between our families” when they renew one of the greatest rivalries in British boxing in London this autumn.

The two will meet in a catchweight blockbuster at the O2 Arena on October 8, three decades after their fathers, Chris Eubank Sr and Nigel Benn, fought in two iconic grudge matches in the Nineties. Eubank won the first fight in 1990, while the second ended in a draw in 1993.

Their sons have fought at different weights and the contest is expected to be at a catchweight of 156lb. There will be a strict rehydration clause in place to stop Eubank, a 32-year-old middleweight, coming in excessively bigger than Benn, a 25-year-old welterweight.

Eubank said: “I grew up watching their legendary battles and always wanting to emulate that, and find my own arch nemesis… could this now be Conor Benn? We will find out.

“He has walked the same path as I have. I know his struggle. Living in the shadow of a legend and trying to break out of that shadow and make his own name. If he can beat me, his name will be made, and he will never walk in his father’s shadow again. It’s the biggest fight of my career.”

Benn said: “To me, this fight is personal — it’s more than titles and rankings, this is unfinished business between our families! This fight is for the legacy and was an opportunity I felt I couldn’t pass up. We have always been associated and I’ve always been asked if we’d ever fight, and now I can’t wait for the world to be able to watch us make that happen.

“All I know is that, from my side, this will be an all-out war, last man standing kind of fight. Neither will give up until the last bell rings.

“I won’t be looking to take this to the scorecards though, this will be explosive from the off. I’m so up for this.”

Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn shared a fascinating rivalry in the 1990s (Getty Images)
Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn shared a fascinating rivalry in the 1990s (Getty Images)

Eubank goes into the fight off the back of an impressive points victory over Liam Williams in February in which he knocked the Welshman down four times. He has won all but two of his 34 fights since turning professional in 2011, with 23 knockouts.

Benn has produced a series of impressive performances since turning professional in 2016 and is unbeaten in his 21 fights. Like his father, he has proved himself to be a fearsome puncher and has 14 knockouts to his name.

Their fathers captured the public imagination and became household names with their bitter rivalry.

Conor Benn is unbeaten in 21 pro fights (PA)
Conor Benn is unbeaten in 21 pro fights (PA)

Eubank stopped Benn in the ninth round of their first enthralling battle at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Their rematch three years later was aired on terrestrial TV, watched by 15.6 million people, and ended in a draw at a sold-out Old Trafford.

Their sons will now reignite the family feud in a fight that will be broadcast on DAZN PPV.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I can’t quite believe this is happening. Weeks of negotiations have led to one of the biggest moments in British boxing — these two born rivals will do battle in an epic match up that has absolutely everything.

“Ever since they both turned professional, people talked about this moment and now is the time to see the historic rivalry continue.”