Chris Eubank Sr. wants Conor Benn to stay in his lane.
The decorated former fighter and father of current middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. has sent out a stern warning to Benn, the controversial British welterweight whose two failed drug tests for a performance-enhancing substance last year scandalized the sport and led to the last-minute cancellation of his high-profile catchweight bout with Eubank.
After a nearly 18-month absence from the ring, Benn returned to action in September on a Matchroom-promoted card in Orlando, Florida, despite the fact that his eligibility to fight has been disputed by the British Boxing Board of Control and United Kingdom Anti-Doping.
Now Benn could be on his way to revisiting a fight with Eubank Jr., according to Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn, possibly for January, in the UK.
The appeal of the original fight was based on the heated rivalry that existed between the fighters’ fathers—Nigel Benn and Eubank Sr.—in the 1990s. But it has morphed into a far more personal grudge match because of Benn’s failed drug tests.
While Nigel Benn has continued to support his son in his endeavor against Eubank Jr., Eubank Sr. has long been critical of the matchup, while showing sympathy for Benn, who he feels would simply not be competitive with his son. Eubank Sr. has also had a falling out with his son, refusing to participate in his training camp leading up to the original date of their encounter.
In a recent interview, Eubank Sr. insisted that Benn needs to stick to fighting welterweights.
Eubank Sr. has been seen making the media rounds lately because of his nephew, the welterweight Harlem Eubank, who fights this Friday at Brighton Centre in his hometown of Brighton, England. Recently, Harlem Eubank traded words with Benn on social media.
“If you think about the hole that they dug, putting a completely new broadcaster (DAZN) into two names and promoting it for a year,” Eubank Sr. told Boxing Social. “It was always wrong. I remember hearing a promoter say, ‘Well, the real hate is now.’ Fighters don’t have hate. It’s the promoter. I know that my son Jr. he’s a money man. Yeah, he’d like that fight. But he’s a money man. Conor really just wants to get one for his dad. And I admire that.
“But the father is wrong,” Eubank Sr. continued. “He’s wrong. He shouldn’t be leading him down that path. His career is not about Chris Eubank Jr. His career is about the champions at 147. If you want to win over a Eubank, you’re only going to get it through Harlem.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.