EUBANK Jr v BENN
Almost exactly thirty years after their fathers engaged in a brutal rivalry that gave us two huge, British fights (’90 & ’93), Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn will fight in London on 8 October.
"I grew up watching their legendary battles and always wanting to emulate that, and find my own arch nemesis… could this now be Conor Benn? We will find out," said Eubank Jr.
The deal was almost signed at the end of last month but Eubank Jr - a former super-middle - had a couple of last-minute offers to field and use in negotiations. Middleweight world champions Demetrius Andrade and Jermall Charlo both posted on social media, calling for a bout with the Brighton-based legend Chris Sr. And then Eubank Jr wasted a few Tweets trying to talk cruiserweight YouTube fighter Jake Paul into a bout, which got Benn raging online.
What would be really impressive is if the Eubank Jr v Benn fight brings in more PPV buys than the heavyweight rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk. It’s fair to say the Eubank Jr v Benn fight is being promoted better than the Joshua v Usyk II rematch. The amount of buzz created from Eubank Jr. and Benn in their kickoff press conference was fantastic fuel for hyping this great British clash.
If Benn is able to defeat middleweight Eubank Jr, it’s going to make him into a worldwide star overnight on October 8th.
“I knew this fight was big. Eubank Jr against Benn will be the biggest pay-per-view we’ve ever done,” said Eddie Hearn to Fight Hub TV. “It’s just an absolute monster.
“It’s across so many generations,” said Hearn of the fight. “The younger generation that follows the two fighters now, the 40 pluses, 60 pluses, and 80 pluses.
Eubank Jr has a fair bit of weight to shed before then. He usually operates at both middleweight (160lbs) and super-middleweight (168lbs). Meanwhile, Benn boxes at welterweight (147lbs) and, for this fight, the pair will meet at a catchweight of 157lbs, with a strict rehydration clause in place to stop 32-year-old middleweight Eubank Jr coming in excessively bigger than the 25-year-old welterweight. The pair will have to do a second weigh-in on fight day after agreeing to this rehydration clause.
Benn said: "This fight is for the legacy and was an opportunity I felt I couldn't pass up. My team and I had other options on the table as I'm currently ranked top five with all governing bodies at welterweight and no doubt I'm looking for a world championship fight very soon, but this fight is embedded with so much history and I know it's one the public really want to see. To me this fight is personal - it's more than titles and rankings, this is unfinished business between our families!
Look at the bare career facts of both men and you might wonder what all the fuss is about. Benn, an undefeated up-and-coming welterweight, will meet a man seven years his senior who has boxed at middleweight and super-middleweight over the course of more than a decade in the sport.
Eubank Jr has lost his two biggest fights to Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves and, as such, has never won a major world title. Benn, although such challenges were thought to lie ahead of him at 147lbs, is in the same boat. That will remain the case irrespective of the result in London as the fight has been made at a catchweight of 157lbs, between the super-welterweight (154lbs) and middleweight (160lbs) limits,
Eubank Jr (32-2, 23 KOs) heads into the bout off the back of a career-best performance against Liam Williams in February; Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) most recently beat South Africa's Chris van Heerden inside two rounds.
Thank you very much to all of our readers, followers and supporters, without whom this Journal would be pointless. We are delighted to inform you that with your support we have climbed into the Top 10 of the Feedspot rankings, as one of the 10 best boxing blogs in the UK. Have a look where you've taken us:
We're grateful. We're proud and thank you all!