Eddie Hearn isn’t convinced that Chris Eubank Jr. got the shorter end of the stick as it relates to his upcoming 157-pound catchweight bout with Conor Benn.
Ever since their fight was announced for Oct. 8 at The O2 Arena in London, Eubank Jr. has adamantly insisted that the strenuous weight-related stipulations are far more prohibitive to him than they are to Benn. Eubank, a career middleweight and super middleweight, said he has never had to drop below 160 pounds since he was a teenager. In addition to the weight cut, Eubank is barred from rehydrating above a certain undisclosed weight on the morning of their fight; should he fail to do so, there will be stiff financial repercussions.
Hearn, the promoter of Benn, however, believes the catchweight is actually far more disadvantageous to his charge. Benn, a welterweight, will effectively be scaling two weight classes to take on Eubank, so the need to drastically drop weight does not factor into Benn’s case. Nevertheless, according to Hearn, this does not change the fact that Eubank is and will be the bigger fighter in the ring.
“The bigger danger is with Conor Benn, in all honesty,” Hearn told iD Boxing. “When a fighter moves up one-and-a-half weight divisions it’s a big disadvantage. You’re talking about Chris Eubank Jr. coming down three pounds.
Hearn also says he has reason to believe that Eubank’s weight cut has been relatively smooth — and not as grueling as it has been made out to be.
“Now, I understand how difficult that can be, especially if a fighter struggles to make 160,” Hearn said. “But his team and the British Boxing Board of Control … [and] his trainer are very comfortable with where he is in that respect. I think he has weighed 158.8 [pounds] quite recently in a fight.”
Eubank Jr. has repeatedly mocked Benn in the leadup to their fight. In addition to making brash pronouncements about how he needs only to be at half-strength to defeat Benn, Eubank Jr. has frequently posted videos on social media showing himself devouring high-calorie foods, like cakes and fried chicken.
Recently, Eubank Jr.’s father expressed concern for both Benn and his own son about their catchweight bout. Eubank Sr. even threatened to take legal action and claimed, in one instance, that he would try and pull his son out of the fight, citing the hazardous weight stipulations.
“So he has to make that weight (157 pounds), if he doesn’t there will be financial penalties,” Hearn said of Eubank Jr. “If he doesn’t he’ll look a bit silly after the Instagram posts. But I think it’s a bigger disadvantage to Conor Benn, stepping up the divisions. He’s gonna be the smaller man on the night. Also, you saw him today, he’s (Benn) 163 pounds, he looks like he’s ready to weigh in for welterweight, you know?
“I don’t see the concerns… first of all Chris Eubank Sr. was concerned for Conor Benn when this fight got discussed. Now he’s concerned for Jr. It’s up to the team that everyone is prepared and ready for the fight.”