In all of the build-up of Chris Eubank, Jr.’s IBO super-middleweight title fight with Arthur Abraham, his father and mentor, Chris Eubank, Sr., has intimated that he would be keen to don the gloves once again and get in the ring to fight the winner of the much-discussed rematch between Nigel Benn and Steve Collins.
Benn and Collins fought twice in the 1990s, billed as two of UK boxing’s biggest ever fights, with Collins having the upper hand on Benn, winning both tightly-contested fights in a four-month period in 1996.
It’s suggested in Nigel Benn’s circles that Benn, 53, believes he has unfinished business in boxing and sees this as an opportunity to sign out of professional boxing by winning a third duel with the Irishman.
During their first fight, Benn suffered an ankle injury, resulting an easy fourth-round stoppage from Collins. Meanwhile, the second bout saw Benn retire in his corner after the sixth.
Nigel Benn had previously been looking to arrange a rematch with Chris Eubank, Sr., although the talks regarding such a fight had been mooted during the last five years and never came to fruition, much to the frustration of Benn.
Nevertheless, Eubank, Sr. has come out publicly to confirm that he would be open to facing the winner of Benn v Collins, telling TALKSPORT that “nothing is crazy in boxing”.
“Because it’s all about entertainment. If it puts boxing on the global map, then it’s a good thing,” said Eubank, Sr.
He continued, “Personally, I don’t know if the public wants to see that particular fight; if they do, then good… They can actually battle it out, and I’ll clean up the rest afterwards.”
Would Eubank, Jr. endorse his father returning to the ring? It would appear that the 27-year-old has as much confidence in his father’s abilities as Eubank, Sr. has in himself.
“If my father is confident in his abilities [then so am I],” Eubank, Jr. told The Sun.
“I know he’s in the gym at the moment training hard, just to stay in shape. If he believes he can do it, then I’m behind him 100%. We’re all warriors, we all know our limits, we all know what we are capable of; if the will and the desire is there, and the public wants to see it, then why not?”
There is, of course, a danger that a fight between previously-retired boxers aged 50-plus will be a bit of a damp squib. Will they have the physicality to give the public the entertainment and drama they crave? Or, will it be more akin to the early stages of a poker tournament, where the players dance around and trade jabs, refusing to get all their chips involved too early on?
However, Eubank, Sr. might also feel that he has some unfinished business, particularly with Steve Collins, who ended his unbeaten record back in 1995.
It would appear that the trio would have to arrange their fights through the British Boxing Board of Control, who have already voiced their concerns about the upper age of the trio when it comes to obtaining a boxer’s licence.
Nevertheless, you only have to look at the fight between David Haye and Dereck Chisora to see how easy it is to get sanctioning from outside federations, with the fight in question eventually gaining authorisation by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation amid claims that the pair weren’t deserving of a professional fight on British soil.