Just under a month after news broke that the relevant parties were “close to a deal,” Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr are officially set to square off on October 8th at London’s O2 Arena.
The bout will take place at a 156 lb catchweight and air on DAZN everywhere but the UK and Ireland, who will have to purchase it on DAZN PPV.
The impetus for this matchup, which pits a rising welterweight prospect against a former super middleweight title challenger, is their last names. Nigel “The Dark Destroyer” and Chris “Simply the Best” collided twice, once in a 1990 defense of Benn’s WBO middleweight title and again in a 1993 super middleweight unification. Eubank won the first by ninth-round stoppage, while the second ended in a draw, which hilariously saved both men from signing with Don King after the contract stipulated that the “winner” and “loser” do so.
As for this matchup’s merits, well, Watson said it better than I could. Nigel and Chris Sr were two of the best middleweights in the world when they first met and two of the best super middleweights in the sequel. It didn’t just make total sense on its own, the drama behind it was organic.
This one, meanwhile, is as big a stretch as you’re likely to find and does nothing for either man’s career. Conor should be gunning for the likes of David Avanesyan and Chris is in spitting distance of three difference middleweight titles. Plus, if Conor and Chris Jr have beef, it’s factory-grown.
Guess we’ve gotta live with it, though.
“This fight is for the legacy and was an opportunity I felt I couldn’t pass up,” said Benn. “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!
“‘Born Rivals’ is the perfect calling for this fight, because we have always been associated and I’ve always been asked if we’d ever fight, and now I can’t wait for the world to be able to watch us make that happen. All I know is that from my side, this will be an all-out war, last man standing kind of fight. Neither will give up until the last bell rings. I won’t be looking to take this to the score cards though, this will be explosive from the off. I’m so up for this.”
“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. “He has walked the same path as I have. I know his struggle. Living in the shadow of a legend and trying to break out of that shadow and make his own name. If he can beat me, his name will be made, and he will never walk in his father’s shadow again.
“It’s a fight that’s going to spark the imagination of the British public, that’s what I’m happy about. In terms of anticipation, legacy and hype it’s the biggest fight of my career.”