Chris Eubank Jr admits he feels the pressure ahead of his Oct. 8 showdown with Conor Benn, as the two second-generation fighters renew their family rivalry from the days when their fathers, Chris Sr and Nigel, did battle.
In an interview with both on “Good Morning Britain,” Eubank (32-2, 23 KO) says he’ll retire if he loses to Benn (21-0, 14 KO), while Benn — who is coming up to the 157 lb catchweight from his normal 147 weight, while Eubank is coming a bit lower than he’s used to fighting — says he’s aiming for the stoppage.
Eubank also subtly addressed the ongoing disagreements with his father over whether he should have even taken this fight.
Here’s what the two had to say in their “Good Morning Britain” appearance to promote the bout:
Benn on how he’s feeling: “This is the long part. I just want to get in there and do the business. The hard work and preparation are done, it’s now just a matter of getting in there and fighting. Get all the media work done, and I’m just excited to get in there.”
Benn on training: “I’m strong and powerful. It’s been an amazing challenge to come up two weight divisions. I just want to get in there now and prove meself.”
Eubank on how he’s feeling: “60 percent, you know. I’m calm, I’m happy, I’m on weight, and I’m ready to go. ... I have this weight that I have to make, which I’ve never made before in my entire career. There’s also a rehydration clause after (the weigh-in), I can’t be over a certain weight. I can’t be 100 percent for this fight, but the 60 percent that I will be is going to be a very dangerous and worrying 60 percent for Conor.”
Eubank on coming down in weight: “I wouldn’t say (I’ve made big changes). I’m doing everything on my own accord. I’ve had my burgers and my birthday cakes, and I’ve done everything my own way. I’m a professional, but I also know what my body can do and what it can’t do. I don’t need nutritionists and gym guys who think they know what they’re doing. I know my own body.”
Benn on coming up in weight: “We can all play the card, ‘Oh, I’m coming up a stone and all that,’ at the end of the day, I can beat the man. I’ll be 100 percent because I’m a dedicated professional athlete, not ramming burgers down my throat, or portraying that image, anyway. I’m here working, grafting, and I’ll be 100 percent on the night.”
Benn on the legacy perspective of the fight: “(Our fathers’) last fight went to a draw, but we all know how that fight really went and how should have won. It’s only right I get the victory.”
Eubank on the pressure of the fight: “There’s a huge amount of pressure on me for this fight, absolutely. This is the first time I’ve ever said this throughout my entire career: If I lose this fight, I retire. And I love fighting, I love the sport, I love being a boxer. I don’t want it to end. ... Losing to a Conor Benn at this stage of my career means I’m not the fighter I thought I was or think I am. I want to challenge for world titles within the next six to 12 months. I can’t do that with a loss to Conor Benn. My father retired at 32, I’m 33 years old, so this is an extremely important fight, and there’s a lot of pressure on me to not only win, but also uphold the name and family legacy that we have created. Right now, the Eubank name is in front of the Benn name in the history books, and I’m gonna keep it that way.”
Benn on Eubank’s legacy comments: “You’re funny, you are. The fight wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t ‘Eubank-Benn’ or you weren’t walking second, but the reality is nobody cares. My ego ain’t that big about my name being first in the history books or whoever ring walks second. I couldn’t care less, to be honest with you, mate. Everyone knows (our fathers’ fights) as ‘Benn-Eubank.’ When this fight was announced, you know whose name was trending? It wasn’t ‘Eubank,’ mate. (Eubank: “That hurts my heart.”) I bet it hurts your heart, because you’ve got a massive ego.”
Benn on wanting to win for his father: “I’m gonna go in there and get the win regardless, but my dad’s proud of me with or without this fight. I could still be doing my old job painting, my dad would still be proud of me and the man I’ve become. (Eubank Jr) is an opponent in my way that I’ve got to get my hands on and beat.”
Eubank on his father training him: “Actually, I’ve trained myself for this fight. My father has kept his distance. ... He was actually — he wanted me to wait, actually, he didn’t want to take this fight. He wanted me to wait another year, but there’s no time like the present.”
Eubank’s prediction: “I’m going to enjoy myself. I’m going to have fun, I’m going to entertaining. I’m going to teach this young man and a lesson. Will it go 12 rounds? I don’t think so. He thinks he’s gonna knock me out, he thinks he’s gonna be the first man to stop me. It’s going to be an explosive and dangerous fight for both of us, but a victory will be secured.”
Benn’s prediction: “Yeah, I’m coming for the stoppage. No doubt about it. If I see my shot, I’m gonna take it. And you know what, when I shoot, I don’t miss.”
Eubank on whether or not his father will be there: “We are, uh, we are working on that. How could he not be?”