During the 1990s, Chris Eubanks was among the biggest stars in the sport of boxing. His eccentric personality and legendary wars with fellow Englishman Nigel Benn made him a legend of the sport, both in Great Britain and across the sea in North America.
Two decades later, his son and namesake, is emerging as a legitimate contender in his own right. It’s rare in the brutal Sweet Science for a son to match the reputation of a great father. And Eubanks Jr. has a long way to go to rival his old man. But he’s also a top 10 contender at middleweight and definitely deserves a shot at greatness sometime during 2016.
Eubanks’ most high-profile fight to date was also his only loss, by split decision to fellow Brit Billy Joe Saunders in November 2014. Sanders went on the capture the WBO middleweight belt from Andy Lee last December.
Eubanks rebounded well from that setback. In his next fight, he busted up previously undefeated Dmitry Chudinov and stopped him with less than a minute remaining in Round 12.
On Saturday night in Wembley Arena, Eubanks will face the British middleweight champion Nick Blackwell. Blackwell is an opponent Eubanks cannot afford to look past. He lost a split decision to Saunders in December 2012. His first loss came in June 2011, against Martin Murray. He was not yet 21 and it was just his ninth professional bout, so it’s a bit shocking that he was already in so tough against a talent like Murray. He’s clearly a graduate of the School of Hardknocks and fighters who are able to pass their exams from that institution inevitably develop into tough customers in the ring.
But Blackwell is still an opponent Eubanks should be able to defeat. Blackwell’s British title is a nice trinket, but not one that holds much value for a fighter like Eubanks at this point, who is merely trying keep his momentum while he waits for his shot at a world title.