CHRIS EUBANK, like his choice of coffee, is complicated. He puts a sugar into his double espresso macchiato with skinny milk, stirs it briefly and struts the Eubank strut towards the back of a sunny Brighton café. “It’s so frustrating to be me,” he says in reference to being perennially misunderstood, and places his impressive 50-year-old frame into a chair. “But it’s great, I love it.”
That sense of self-worth, the faith he has in his opinions and values, has always been an admirable quality, even when those opinions and values are lost on many who hear them. Eubank operates with a level of self-belief that is alien in a largely insecure world; confidence so unrelenting it’s been both a blessing and a curse. Two decades ago it drove Eubank from relative obscurity to two WBO world titles, and a level of fame that is still keenly felt. Today, despite accusations to the contrary, he promises it will guide his son’s boxing career to even greater heights than his own.
That I should be in that same Brighton café, writing the report from the previous night’s Gennady Golovkin-Kell Brook contest when Eubank enters is a complete and curious coincidence. After all, it should have been Chris Eubank Jnr challenging middleweight king Golovkin at the O2 Arena. That bout was there for the taking until negotiations stalled long enough for Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn to offer the contest to the undersized Brook at the 11th hour. Weeks of silence from Team Eubank followed, and with them, a Boxing News front cover sporting Eubank Jnr’s image and the accompanying headline, ‘Rudderless’. The connotations of which did not pass unnoticed.