It was rumoured to be in the pipeline for a while, but finally, the contracts are signed, and Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn will meet in the ring at the O2 on October 8th. The bout, which will be shown on Dazn PPV via Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport, is set to be one of the biggest ever in British boxing history, and it all stems from the rivalry between the pair’s fathers, Chris Sr and Nigel.
Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn met twice in their careers, with both fights promoted by Eddie Hearn’s father, Barry. Eubank came out on top in the first bout, winning by TKO in the ninth round at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. Hearn then set up the rematch at Old Trafford, with millions tuning in to watch on ITV. However, the fight ended up as a split decision draw, and there was never a third contest between the two.
While the rivalry between Chris Sr and Nigel has come to an end, things could be about to change as their sons, Chris Jr and Conor, will now go to war at a catch weight of 157lbs, which has been a significant talking point since rumours of the fight happening surfaced. Benn naturally fights at welterweight, although he did box at 170lbs against Chris van Heerden, a fight he won by second-round knockout. On the other hand, Eubank Jr campaigns at middle and super middle, and hasn’t dropped below 160lbs since eighteen years old.
So, there are now question marks over weigh-ins and rehydration clauses. According to reports, both fighters will be expected to weigh in at 157lb on the Friday, with Benn having the option to pull out of the bout if Eubank Jr comes in above a specific weight. There will also be another weigh-in on the Saturday morning at 11 am, which will give Eubank Jr less time to hydrate and refuel ahead of the showpiece event.
Heading into the fight, it’s Eubank Jr who has the experience. He’s fought tougher opponents and been on much bigger stages. He will also be the bigger man in height, reach and weight on the night. But, Benn is a confident and undefeated fighter who packs a punch and is renowned for his front-foot style of boxing under the guidance of leading trainer Tony Sims.
The launch press conference was quite revealing, with Eubank Jr insisting his focus will be on making sure he makes the weight properly rather than preparing for what Benn brings to the table as a fighter. On the other hand, Benn has been seen training at all times of the day and night as he prepares to avenge the loss his father suffered in 1990. Family names and reputations are on the line, and this could turn into a battle of who wants it the most, with both fathers expected to be in the corners on fight night, adding to the spice.