A family rivalry over 30 years in the making will add another chapter to its saga Saturday when second-generation stars Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn continue the beef that first began with their fathers.
Chris Eubank Sr. faced Nigel Benn in 1990 and scored a ninth-round technical knockout victory to defend his WBO middleweight title. A rematch ensued in 1993, and this time, the two battled it out to a split draw.
Eubank Jr. (32-2, 23 KOs) is promising another victory on the family ledger, predicting that once the bright lights at the O2 Arena in London turn on, his counterpart Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) will fold.
“He’s going to crumble under the pressure,” Eubank Jr. said on the “Make The Days Count” mini-series released by Matchroom Boxing. “I’m very chilled, and that’s where Conor is going to come unstuck in this fight. He’s not a chilled guy. He doesn’t know how to relax. He doesn’t know how to not let things emotionally affect him … He doesn’t know how to lose yet. If he’s anything like his old man, he’ll go out on his shield, which makes him dangerous.”
On the flipside, Eubank Sr. is asking for the fight to be boycotted because he believes his son is at a physical disadvantage by fighting at a 157-pound catchweight.
Eubank Jr. has been a career-long middleweight and super middleweight and has never tipped the scales below 158 ¼ pounds – which last occurred in 2014.
Eubank Jr. doesn’t seem to be bothered by having to lose extra weight, however, sharing clips of himself on social media in recent weeks enjoying burgers, celebrating his birthday with dessert, and wearing a T-shirt alluding that he’s only giving 60% effort.
The 33-year-old Eubank is seven years older than Benn and has 13 more fights, 129 more rounds, and almost five more years of professional experience under his belt than his rival.
The 26-year-old upstart Benn has never fought above the welterweight limit as a pro.
Benn has strung together a credible five-fight winning streak against the durable likes of Sebastian Formella, Samuel Vargas, Adrian Granados, Chris Algieri, and Chris van Heerden since 2020.
Eubank Jr. scored a unanimous decision win against Liam Williams in February.
“I think Conor has the ego. He sent me a contract saying, ‘I want to fight you.’ That’s ego. I felt disrespected when I saw that contract. ‘Hold it a second. This guy wants to fight me? Where’s the respect?’” said Eubank Jr.
“This guy should be fearing me, not thinking he can beat me. We’re going to have to take him down. It’s my job to go out there and teach this kid a lesson, and let him know who’s the boss. Let him know who the Eubanks are.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.