This is a fight for the fans, the history and the legacy – Chris Eubank Jr

This is a fight for the fans, the history and the legacy – Chris Eubank Jr

Chris Eubank Jr has vowed to follow his father’s philosophy and maintain self-discipline as the hype over a showdown with rival Conor Benn heats up.

The two British fighters will go head-to-head some 29 years after Chris Eubank Sr and Nigel Benn slugged it out for a second time in their explosive WBC super-middleweight world title contest at Old Trafford.

The ‘Born Rivals’ showdown will be screened exclusively live by DAZN from the O2 Arena on October 8, with the fight set to be at a catchweight category, understood to be 157lb.

Given both men had fought at varying weights, it seemed as if a third instalment of the family rivalry would never materialise.

While the contest will generate plenty of headlines given the history involved, Eubank Jr, 32, has no intentions of allowing himself to lose focus.

“This is this is a fantasy fight right here. This is this is a fight for the fans, a fight for history, a fight for legacy,” he told the PA news agency.

Chris Eubank Sr (left) and Nigel Benn in action
Chris Eubank, left, and Nigel Benn fought twice during the 1990s (Sean Dempsey/PA)

“I’ve got to uphold my family name in this fight, 100 per cent, so there is a lot of pressure, but pressure is one thing I deal with exceptionally well so I am ready to go.”

Eubank Jr continued: “I need to be responsible in this fight – I have my family name to uphold here, not just in winning, but in how I conduct myself.

“I would not want to do anything to disrespect what my father felt during this fight.

“You guys saw it – in the interviews where Nigel was talking about how he hated him and trying to goad him into getting involved in fight probably outside of the ring.

“Nigel was the type of guy who would have loved to have done that, but my father would not rise to it.

“He had discipline, he knew that this was a respected sport and he was an ambassador, that there were kids watching, so he didn’t go down to that level.

“He said, ‘I don’t hate the man, I just want his belt’. I have to carry that same respect and philosophy into this fight and I will do so.”

Eubank Jr has previously boxed at super-middleweight, and weighed 160lbs when he beat Liam Williams on points in a one-sided contest during February.

The 32-year-old accepts shedding the pounds “is going to be hell”.

He said: “The weight I will be coming in at, I haven’t fought at since I was 18, so there has to be changes.

“I don’t know how it’s going to affect my performance. I don’t know how I’m gonna feel on the night, but I love a challenge. I am never one to back down from adversity.

“I’m responsible with how I train, with how I eat, how I live my life.

“Don’t get me wrong, it is going to be hell, very, very tough – but we will get the mission done.”

Benn, 25, again impressed in his last welterweight fight, stopping experienced South African Chris van Heerden inside two rounds to extend a perfect record to 21 wins.

“He has beaten every man that has been put in front of him, you have got to respect that,” Eubank Jr said.

“He is on a hot streak, is knocking guys out and putting in great performances, exciting the fans, building his profile.

“He is on a roll, has momentum and feels that he can take all of that into this fight and, as he said, be the first man to stop me.”

Chris Eubank Jr during a press conference
Chris Eubank Jr has his eyes on a world title shot (Steven Paston/PA)

Eubank Jr, though, insists he has unfinished business with the middleweight division.

“I want to be a part of history, to do something that’s never been done before, but that doesn’t mean I am not looking to the future,” he said.

“There are huge fights for me in the middleweight division.

“I want to win world titles, that is what we will be shooting for as soon as we take care of Conor Benn.”