CHRIS EUBANK has not given up on the idea of a third fight with Nigel Benn after getting himself in the best shape he’s been in for many years. The 51-year-old admits it was a desire to renew old rivalries that made him knuckle down in the gym and, after being declared “fit” by his trainer, John Green, he has now been encouraged to return to boxing training by his son, Chris Eubank Jnr.
“I’ve been in the gym and my trainer – I call him the engineer, his name is John Green, I see him in Mayfair and I go three or four times a week – says I’m fit respiratory-wise and I’m building the structure of my muscles,” Eubank told Boxing News.
“I said to Junior the other day, ‘I’m fit’, but that’s not ‘boxing fit’, so Junior says I better start hitting the heavy bag. So now he’s teaching me like I once taught him.
“I like it [training] because it keeps me away from alcohol, it keeps me away from cigars, it keeps me eating sensibly. If you do it [come back], you can’t cheat. Nigel Benn would never forgive you for it – he’s a considerable force to be reckoned with. You have to be serious, so to date I’m serious because I don’t drink, I’m not smoking cigars, I’m not doing things I’m not supposed to do. I’ve never used substances.
“The reason I’m in such good shape is having Nigel Benn on my mind, and he ain’t no joke. I want to prepare myself correctly if this should come about.”
Rumours about a third fight between Eubank and Benn have been flying around for over two years but were hit when the British Boxing Board of Control declared they would not sanction the contest, and appeared done and dusted when Benn recently announced his intention to pursue a fight with Steve Collins instead.
For Eubank, though, only a Benn contest appeals. Eubank defeated Benn in one of British boxing’s greatest fights in 1990, before being held to a 12-round draw three years later. Eubank has no intention of taking on anyone else, and it is the “competition” and breaking conventions that appeals as opposed to any grudge between the pair.
“There’s no man on the planet who could find a scenario or a clip or a comment where I say I dislike the man, never mind hate him,” Eubank explained.
“It wasn’t about that for me, and it still isn’t. It’s about competition and the art of the possible, doing what other people can’t and using it as a beacon for people who are 50 years old. If I’m looking like what I’m looking like why can’t you do the same.”
Eubank is delighted with the results of his training – whether they lead to another bout with Benn or not.
“Do you know people actually mistake me for my son, Junior? I’m like hang on a minute, he’s latte-coloured, I’m chocolate,” he joked.
“I know now that you train to enjoy the greatest instruments on earth, which is your brain and body. Train to enjoy it after 50, because if you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it. Walking, running, not using substances, not messing up your lungs, eating healthy, drinking healthy. Keeping yourself hydrated. Keeping yourself busy. It’s like an engine, if you don’t use it, it clogs up and it stops.
“I’m 51 and I’m on my game. I would hope others take a leaf. I had a girl tell me I looked 19, and this was a girl – and okay, it was in nightclub so it could have been dark – and I said, ‘You’re kidding me.’ I’ve been complimented before but that’s just ridiculous. But it’s a beautiful thing to be told that. The only thing that makes people shy away from training is the fact that they have to go to a gym, get in their car, it takes an hour to get there, and then they’ve got to undress and get in the shower. It’s a whole rigmarole, but you have to get past that – just do it at home, do it when you get up in the morning, do it by your bedside.
“If you’re serious about enjoying the magic that we get from this earth, then start looking after yourself now.”