CHRIS EUBANK strides into a dark YouTube studio, the location of the latest press conference to promote his son’s ITV Box Office scrap with Renold Quinlan, and is immediately taken aback by the silence. Clutching the trusty cane that he’s owned since 1993, he surveys the press in attendance, briefly acknowledges Quinlan’s presence, and smiles.
“Why is everyone whispering?” he asks nobody in particular.
“It feels like we’re here to tiptoe. But we’re the Eubanks, we don’t tiptoe, we’re here to entertain you.”
Eubank is in a good mood, and is indeed here to entertain. Most of the press chuckle, happy to break the humdrum enforced by the impending live broadcast, but not everyone is amused.
“Sit down you clown and shut up, this isn’t about you,” says one rather irate fellow in a deep Australian accent. It’s Quinlan’s father, and every time Eubank opens his mouth over the next 30 or so minutes, he tuts or retorts.
Just like always, Chris Eubank is the marmite in the room. And he’s here to spread himself everywhere. What follows is a cocktail of soundbites designed to promote the February 4 bout that has received a lukewarm welcome – and that’s being kind – from fans and the industry due to the price tag for a perceived mismatch. The contest will be a 12-round bout for Quinlan’s lightly-regarded IBO super-middleweight title, but to hear Eubank, you’d think Quinlan – largely unknown – was the greatest foreign fighter to ever step foot on these shores.
“As world champion,” Eubank says to Quinlan, “in many ways you are the prime minister of all tough men.”
The shy Aussie, whose personality is wildly different to the family he’ll encounter next weekend, appears to be engrossed. As Eubank talks, and tells him how great he is, Quinlan starts to nod. Eubank is getting in his head, and Quinlan welcomes him with open arms. It’s a bizarre moment, but the Brighton veteran – a former WBO middle and super-middleweight champ – has been in these situations many times, manipulating the mind of the enemy.
“I know what goes into being a world champion, the sacrifice, the training, the hard work that comes before every fight,” Eubank exclaims. “I have 19 world championship wins, and for every win, I had to take 50 beatings [in training].”
Eubank claims he has been told he has an IQ of 190, yet some of his comments sound like the rants of a madman. “My son would wreck Andre Ward,” he says. That Junior is yet to compete in the light-heavyweight division, let alone fight at the level of Ward – unquestionably one of the finest boxers on the planet – makes his assumption typically hard to fathom.
No matter, on and on he goes. “Junior is special because he’s been brought up by a peculiar man – me,” Senior says proudly. “We are crazy, and totally deluded.”
The host, ITV’s Mark Pougatch, invites the fighters to the stage. Quinlan initially seems nervous and unsure what to say. Junior senses this, and goes on the attack. He berates the underdog for allowing him to touch his belt during the preceding photograph session.
“If I was the champion, I wouldn’t let anyone touch my belt. You’re already giving it away, it’s a sign of weakness.”Eubank Senior smiles broadly, and claps his hands together with pride.
“I’ve been working for this fight my entire career, to become a world champion, follow my dad’s footsteps, and also follow in the footsteps of all the greats,” Junior continues.“I want to be right up there, at middleweight, at super-middleweight; there’s a lot of great fights to be had out there. Just because I’m at super-middleweight now does not mean I’m staying there. There are some great super-middleweight fights for me. I know I can beat [Gennady] Golovkin because of my power and speed. I don’t fear his punching. I have sparred heavyweights and taken massive beatings, but the fact he can punch does not scare me. He’s not as fast as me, and I’ve said for a long time that he is not hard to hit. Once you take away his punch, what else has he got?”
The Eubanks have been calling out Golovkin for several years, yet did not agree terms in time when the fight was offered to them last year. Billy Joe Saunders, who handed Junior his only defeat in 2014 before winning the WBO 160lb title a year later, is another.
“The Billy Joe Saunders fight is one that I want; it’s a wrong that I have to put right,” Eubank Jnr says. “It hurts when you know you’ve lost a fight that you should have won. I should not have lost. That’s a fight that can happen at some stage at middleweight. There’s no reason why it could not be made.”
We’ve heard these statements about Golovkin or Saunders many times, yet both are infinitely more newsworthy than Renold Quinlan, the man he will surely dismantle next Saturday night when they come together inside the London Olympia.
Junior stares at his rival confidently.
“You can bring your whole aboriginal tribe but you will not beat me,” he says, referring to his opponent’s family history.
But it’s the Eubank family that dominates the day.“I hear people telling me that I’m earning a living by trading off my dad’s name, and it amazes me. My ambition is not to emulate him, but to be a champion in my own right. The comparing I leave to the fans. This world title that I will win is just the start. I’m here for at least 10 years, I want all the belts, all the titles, in the super-middleweight and middleweight division.
“The ring is my kitchen,” Junior tells Quinlan, “and you’re getting cooked, seasoned and fried.”
Quinlan, by now at ease among these crazy Englishmen, replies. “You may not have the right ingredients,” he says.
But recipes don’t matter to the Eubanks, they just make it up as they go along.
WATCH EXCLUSIVE EUBANK SNR INTERVIEW HERE