Chris Eubank Jr v Conor Benn: Tony Bellew shuts down Eubank ‘60%’ claims


Place: O2 Arena, London Date: October 8, Saturday
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live; live text commentary reaction on the BBC Sport website and app from 10pm.

Boxing analyst and former world champion Tony Bellew writes for BBC Sport on Chris Eubank Jr’s fight against Conor Benn on Saturday 8th October at the O2 Arena in London.

Eubank and Benn 30 years after their fathers, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank Sr. faced each other in the ring.

Can Benn handle the weight jump? Will Eubank fulfill his retirement commitment if he loses? Can sons fulfill the legacy left by their father?

Imagine if Chris Eubank Jr v Conor Benn is an amazing fight? People will no longer talk about Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank Sr, they will talk about their sons.

This is a chance for the boys to step out of their father’s shadow – they’ve spent their entire careers trying to – it’s a chance to build on their legacy.

They will no longer be the son of Nigel Benn or Chris Eubank. Saturday night they can start creating their own dynasty.

I haven’t gotten any answers about what’s going to happen, but that’s why the fight is so hard.

“All the pressure from Eubank”

Eubank has agreed to this retirement commitment. He can’t say anything and go back. He is the one who says it He only needs to have 60% to beat Benn. That is impossible.

60% Chris Eubank Jr is not winning this fight. I think Benn can win the fight. Of course he can. But I don’t know how good Benn is because he’s undefeated. He doesn’t know what it’s like to lose. Yes, Eubank knows his limits, because they showed him in his defeat.

Eubank thinks this fight will be a walk in the park on a nice summer day. All the pressure is on him after all he said. He has trained himself behind the scenes – he!

If this fight goes hard that will be his loss. Roy Jones Jr is the greatest fighter to ever wear boxing gloves. I have never seen a better fighter. It would have been a huge advantage for Eubank to be in his corner on fight night.

Eubank may be the one under pressure, but if Benn explodes it’s a disaster.

His career path is on the upswing, a failure could destroy him completely. And it can also have lasting effects on his confidence. Losing to then world champion Adonis Stevenson in 2013 crushed me. There’s one person you can’t lie to and that’s it.

Benn really believes he can win this fight. He doesn’t take it for money. Benn is a star in his own right, his own man now. Every time the kid struggles, he delivers.

“Personality Clash”

Nigel Benn vs Chris Eubank is the biggest fight in British boxing history. I don’t think there is any debate about that. Even if Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua fight, I think they would have to fight at least three times to come close.

It was more of a personality clash than anything else.

Nigel Benn was rough and ready against traditional Englishman Chris Eubank – walking with a cane and monocle for good measure! You couldn’t have written a better villain and hero.

The fight between their boys is not the same. It’s a different time, a different time. When their fathers fought they were on terrestrial television. They were more popular than any footballer in the country.

The world watched when they spoke, never mind fought.

The memories of their struggle are rooted in these personalities alone. Of course they were great fights. The first because of the way Chris stopped Nigel and the second because of the controversial draw.

But I wanted to be like Nigel Benn, mean, mean. He came from a similar background to me, a street kid.

It was only later that I found out how hard Eubank Sr’s life really was. He could easily have become Nigel Benn, his story is as believable and amazing as it is. Their stories are the ones that stick in my mind.

It was attractive, it was touching. I was an angry kid who wanted to fight the world and I was almost obsessed with Ben.

I related to him, but I loved and respected Eubank Sr. And that grew over time as his career ended.

Their children have carried on that legacy. The results of the first fight are almost irrelevant now. Children are like their fathers.

Eubank is cautious and sharp like his father, and Benn is a carbon copy of his father: he’s mean, he can hit, and his style is very similar to his father’s. Like Nigel, Conor is at his most dangerous when injured.

These two bounce off each other and don’t even know it. They don’t even try. Eubank Jr. very dry in his humor, Benn sometimes glares whenever his options are rejected.

Children born into wealth and raised in palaces usually have no desire to box. That’s the highest compliment I can pay them both.

They are diligent, well-oiled machines. Suitable fighters. They love to fight. That shouldn’t happen, but what’s in the dog is in the pup. I couldn’t have been the fighter I was if I had grown up like them.

“I can’t pick a winner”

People keep asking me for my prediction, but I can’t pick a winner. I do not know. I get excited about a lot of fights, but it’s very rare that I’m interested in fights. I’m excited for this fight because I don’t know what’s going to happen.

Is the weight cut too much for Chris Eubank Jr? Is Conor Benn too cool? Is his work rate too high? Is Eubank too big? Can Benn hurt Eubank? I can usually tell you all these things because I go outside the history of a fighter’s career.

One thing we do know is that Eubank has a chin. He got that from his father. We know his level at middleweight and super middleweight.

He has two defeats, Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves, two world champions. Benn is untested at world title level, we don’t know his level. I can’t make a firm prediction. I’d be lying if I did.

I can see two results. One, Benn is too young and beats Eubank on points. I don’t see him stopping. If he stops Eubank, it would be an all-time absolute shocker for me. Benn is a puncher with youth and speed.

Two, Eubank is too big and late to Benn. I see Benn gaining the lead in the first six rounds, but if size plays a factor it will be in the second half of the fight.

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