A disturbing report made the rounds during the afternoon, based on an alleged comment by Chris Eubank Sr. regarding a possible cancellation of his son’s impending fight against Connor Benn, in order to keep the younger Eubank from making a severe weight cut that could eventually put his life in danger.
In a report by the Daily Mail that sent shockwaves through the boxing industry, Eubank Sr. is quoted by reporter Dan Matthews as saying that “my son’s life cannot be put in danger. I’ve already lost one. It can’t happen again.”
Eubank refers in that sentence to the loss of his other son Sebastian, also a fighter, who passed away in Dubai at the age of 29 in 2021.
‘This is modern day “gladiating”, this is not a play thing for the audience. We have to be strict, otherwise lives are put in danger,” said Eubank Sr. according to the report, quoting from a Zoom call in which both combatants participated along with their parents and former bitter rivals.
With former foe Nigel Benn on the call, an argument ensued between the two parents and managerial figures of their sons, in which Chris Eubank Sr. claimed that ‘I’ve given (Chris Jr.) my direction. If he doesn’t want to follow it, he will be dragged along. But he will do what is right for him… he is coming down 1oz below 160lbs which cannot happen on my watch.’
After a few more comments, Nigel Benn pressed his old rival on his comments by asking ‘so you’re putting your foot down, saying to your son, at 32 years old: this fight is not happening,’ to which Eubank allegedly responded: ‘Absolutely.’
Eubank Jr. and Benn Jr. are set to clash at London’s O2 Arena on October 8 in a historic battle that comes three decades after their fathers met in the second instalment of British boxing’s greatest rivalry.
The fight was agreed upon at a 157-pound catchweight, and apparently Eubank Sr. wanted to keep his son from making what is considered a dangerous weight cut, given that Chris Jr. has routinely fought at or above 160 pounds during his career.
Although it is unclear whether Eubank Sr. has the power to intervene and stop the fight from happening, the nature of the contract for the fight, which includes severe penalties for both fighters for missing the weight they agreed upon, make it very unlikely that the fight will be cancelled, but the noise surrounding this report was enough for press and fans to worry about the possibility of a fatal disagreement in a fight that is already an inter-generational grudge match.