CHRIS EUBANK has fired back at critics who claim he is stealing his son’s limelight.
Chris Eubank Jr fights for the British middleweight title against Nick Blackwell on Saturday night [March 26], and some – including Blackwell – claim Snr is imposing himself too much on his son’s career.
It’s not the first time that accusation has been aimed at Eubank, himself a legend of British boxing, but the 49-year-old responded to the comments earlier today.
“I hear a lot of people saying I’m stealing my son’s limelight – so something else should be in my position? Who? Who is more qualified than I?
“Who better than me? Who’s tasted the bitterness of a beating? Who’s been in a position where I could have wet myself in a particular fight, the beating was that bad? Who has been there? Who has won the world championships? Who has been a front runner, a door-opener?”
Eubank – or ‘English’ as he now prefers to be known, to prevent confusion with his son – admits that looking over old photographs from his career, during which he won world titles at middle and super-middleweight, make him emotional.
“I look back at pictures now and see myself, my lip is hanging down, I’m bruised and crying. In the background are strangers, where was my daddy? My brothers were at ringside, they should have been in the ring with me. That is why his [Jr’s] siblings will be in there with him and I will lead them.
“I’m not stealing his limelight, how can I? I’ve got nothing on him. He’s the person doing the fighting. Me, I’m doing what I should do – protecting my fighter, and if you don’t like that term, protecting my son.
“In those pictures I only see strangers, I would never do that to him. Never.
“Why am I difficult to work with? Because I’ve been misled by those who were supposed to be looking after me. I’m never going to let that happen to my boy. You can’t move me, I’m not going anywhere.”
He also went on the defensive with regards to his and Jr’s team as a whole, in response to Blackwell’s claims that Jr is a ‘bad role model’ and more likely to turn young children away from the sport than to it.
“You talk about role models and people say we’re not stand up people, we have proven ourselves time and time again,” he continued.
“We have spoken and delivered. We are very good for this game, what you call a game. For us, it is a way of life. We put our lives on the line for the fans, we are real.”
Jr will be vying for a title Snr never won during his career – an omission he laments – but Eubank has repeatedly claimed his son is better than he ever was.
When focusing on Jr’s abilities, Snr compared him with some of the sport’s greats, while also giving some insight into the 26-year-old’s mindset.
“Jr has been on his game for the last 10 years, he never stops. He is possessed, he’s obsessed,” he said.
“So I believe that this will be a fantastic fight because in Nick we have a man who’s focused. But that will never trump obsession. It’s kind of like an illness, I had the same thing. I probably still have it, which is why I don’t stop talking about this craft, this art, this beautiful game.
“This is legacy for him [Jr]. This is tradition for us. It is a very special occasion. The best man will win.
“Some say he punches in bunches. Some say he has speed like Roy Jones Jnr. Some say he has a darkness akin to James Toney, one of the greatest middleweights of all time.
“We know what Jr’s going to bring, so it’s up to Nick to be the champion he is meant to be. It will be a very interesting fight.”