Roy Jones Jr. did not take it personally when he found out that Chris Eubank Jr. would not be enlisting the Hall of Fame boxer as a trainer for his upcoming fight against Conor Benn.
Eubank Jr., the veteran 160 and 168-pound contender, is gearing up for an all-British, 157-pound catchweight fight against welterweight Conor Benn Oct. 8 at The O2 Arena in London. The fight has drawn considerable attention because the fighters’ fathers – Nigel Benn and Eubank Sr. – were boxing superstars and bitter rivals during the 1990s.
Eubank Jr. has frequently changed trainers throughout his career, but he seemingly found some stability with Jones for his past couple of fights. Eubank, however, apparently decided that his father was better suited as a coach for the showdown with Benn.
Jones, far from taking any offense, believes wholeheartedly that Eubank made the right move, given the theme of the fight.
“If it was me and he asked me what he should do, I would’ve told him to do just that,” Jones told FightHype.com. “Your fathers are the reason the fight is happening and having the fathers there in the corners is going to make it even bigger for everybody. So if I was a fan, I would definitely want to see Nigel in Conor’s corner and see Eubank Sr. in Chris’ corner.”
Jones said he did not feel it was his place to try and assume head trainer duties for Eubank on this particular occasion.
“Like I said, why would I want to put my own values over something that’s bigger than that?” Jones continued. “You know what I mean? They’re fighting because of the fathers. The fathers are the reason that the fight is even relevant, you feel me? I’m going to step back and let the fathers do their due diligence, because they are the reason this fight is happening. They wouldn’t be fighting otherwise if it wasn’t for their fathers. One is a welterweight and one is a middleweight. There wouldn’t be no fight all if it weren’t for their fathers. So I can see that.
“It has nothing to do with me. You understand me? If it wasn’t for their fathers this fight wouldn’t even be talked about right now. One is a welterweight, and one is a middleweight, you understand? So I chalk it up to that. If it was me and he would’ve asked me what you think I should do I would’ve said if his father is working his corner, your father should work your corner.”
“I love the kid to death and I do all I can for him but this fight is going to be much more beneficial [with his father in the corner] because that gives the friction of the two fathers more heat and get more people interested in the fight,” Jones added.
It is unclear, however, if Eubank Sr. is actually training his son or will even show up in his corner on the night of the fight. Eubank Jr. revealed that he has not had much communication with his father since the fight with Benn was announced last month. Recently, Eubank Sr. stated his opposition to the fight and threatened legal action, saying that he did not approve of his son trying to make a “dangerous” weight cut.
Jones believes Eubank, 33, should have his way with Benn, 25. He noted that he has already advised Eubank to be wary of some of the things Benn does well inside the ring.
“I think Eubank wins the fight with no problem, but there are a few things he [will] have to do to make sure he keeps being in check,” Jones said. “Eubank is probably more experienced, the bigger and the better fighter, so all my thoughts would be towards Eubank.
“But there are some things that Conor could do to cause problems, and I’ve already warned Chris of those things, so I think he’ll be fine.”
Asked to elaborate, Jones said, “Keep the head down, be careful, watch for the big left hook – things like that.”