Chris Eubank Jr vs. Conor Benn: Tony Bellew shuts down Eubank’s 60% claims

Meeting point: O2 Arena, London Date: Saturday, October 8
Cover: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live. Live text commentary reaction on the BBC Sport website & app from 10pm BST.

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

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

Can massive underdog Ben handle the weight jump? Will Eubank honor his retirement commitment if he loses? Can the sons live up to the legacy left by their fathers?

Imagine if Chris Eubank Jr vs. 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 not only step out of their father’s shadows — something they’ve spent their entire careers trying to do — but also a chance to forge their own legacy.

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

I have no answers as to what will happen, but that’s why the race is so tight.

“All the pressure on Eubank”

Eubank has backed himself into a corner with this retirement promise he’s made. He can’t say something and back down. He is the one who says He only needs to be 60% to beat Ben. Its amazing.

Chris Eubank Jr is 60% not winning this fight. I fully believe Ben can win the race. Of course it can. But I don’t know how good Ben is because he’s invincible. He has no idea what it’s like to lose. Eubank does, he knows his limitations because they have shown him in his loss.

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

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

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

His career is on such a rise, one loss could derail it completely. And it could also have lasting effects on his self-confidence. My loss to the then world champion Adonis Stevenson in 2013 devastated me. There is one person you cannot lie to and that is yourself.

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

“Personality Clash”

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

It was the personality clash more than anything else.

It was rough and ready Nigel Benn against self-proclaimed English traditionalist Chris Eubank – walking around with a cane and a monocle for goodness sake! You couldn’t have written a better villain and hero.

Their boys conflict is not the same. It’s another era, another era. When their fathers fought it was on terrestrial television. They were as popular if not more popular than any footballer in the country.

People were watching when they were talking, never mind fighting.

My memories of their fight are rooted solely in these personalities. Of course they were big games. The first for the way Chris stopped Nigel and the second for the controversial draw.

But I wanted to be like Nigel Benn – fierce, vicious. He came from a similar background to me, a kid off the streets.

It wasn’t until later that I learned how difficult Eubank Sr.’s life really was. He could easily be a Nigel Benn, his story is so fascinating and amazing. Their stories are what stick in my mind.

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

I was in a relationship with him, but I loved and respected Eubank Sr. And that grew over time as his career came to an end.

Their children have continued this legacy. The results of the first match are almost irrelevant now. Children look so much like their fathers.

Eubank is witty and sharp like his father, and Benn is a carbon copy of his dad – he’s vicious, he can hit and his style is very similar to his father’s. Like Nigel, Conor is most dangerous when hurt.

These two bounce off each other and don’t even know it. They don’t even try. Eubank Jr is so dry in his humor that Benn occasionally looks outside himself in rage whenever his chances are denied.

Children born into wealth and raised in mansions usually have no appetite for boxing. It’s the biggest compliment I can pay these two.

They are diligent, well-oiled machines. Real fighters. They like to fight. This shouldn’t happen, but what’s in the dog is in the puppy. I couldn’t have been the fighter I was if I grew up like them.

“I can’t pick a winner”

People keep asking me about my prediction, but I can’t pick a winner. I have no idea. I get excited by a lot of fights, but it’s very rare that I’m intrigued by fights. I’m intrigued by this match because I have no idea what’s going to happen.

Is the weight coming down too far for Chris Eubank Jr? Is Conor Benn too fresh? Is his work rate too high? Is Eubank too big? Can Benn hurt Eubank? Usually I can tell you all this because I’m out of the story of a fighter’s career.

One thing we do know is that Eubank has a chin. He inherited it from his father. We know his level in mid and super mid.

He has two losses, to Billy Joe Sanders and George Groves, two world champions. Ben has not been tested at world title level, we don’t know his level. I can’t make a firm prediction. I’d be lying if I said so.

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

Two, Eubank is too big and gets to Ben late. I can see Ben gaining the lead in the first six laps, but if size is a factor, it will be in the second half of the race.

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