THE eagerly awaited return between bitter rivals Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn occurred on October 9, 1992. It was hosted by Manchester United’s Old Trafford, and the 42,000 who crammed into the stadium to witness the fight were dwarfed by the estimated 16.5million who watched on ITV.
THE terrestrial station paid £1.5 million to secure the rights to broadcast the fight live in the UK.
BOTH Eubank’s WBO super-middleweight title, and Benn’s WBC belt were on the line. It was reported that Benn – who had lost their 1990 opener in nine rounds – had paid the WBO’s sanctioning fee of £10,000 so the bout would remain a unification showdown.
EUBANK’S corner came into the ring with ‘WBO and WBC champion’ emblazoned on their jackets.
AT the end of the first round, Eubank spent 40 seconds of the interval strolling and posturing before eventually taking his place in the corner.
EUBANK had to be dragged back to his corner by his trainer Ronnie Davies after threatening to do the same after a wild third round in which both men were hurt.
BENN lost a point, fairly, for hitting low in round six, but even so, his excellent output seemed to have him comfortably ahead with three rounds of the scheduled 12 to go. The rematch lacked the savagery of the first bout, but it was engrossing.
EUBANK, as was one of his great strengths, came on strong down the stretch to leave the decision in the balance. The scores were 115-113, 113-115, and 114-114. It was a draw, and the fans – who loved to hate Eubank – spewed their displeasure.
BOXING NEWS scored the bout 115-114 in Benn’s favour, but then-editor Harry Mullan refused to buy into the ‘robbery’ and called it a very close fight.