Chris Eubank has enjoyed something of a renaissance when it comes to being in the public eye again recently.
Sure, he never really left but you’d struggle to scroll through your Twitter feed at the moment without seeing a video where he’s calling the weather ‘stupendous’ or highlighting how great Smarties are while on Celebrity Gogglebox.
Thanks to his eccentricity, we sometimes forget how magnificent Eubank was in the ring in his pomp and there’s many of us who aren’t old enough to remember how much of a vicious warrior he was when he laced up his gloves as one of the best pugilists to hail from these shores.
The fact Eubank held the WBO iterations of both the middleweight and super middleweight titles between 1990 and 1995 and is ranked by BoxRec as third best British super-middleweight ever should say something about the 53-year-old’s fistic ability - in fact, as a middleweight, he was never beaten.
On top of his punching prowess, that made sure 23 of his 45 vanquished foes never saw the final bell, he had another tool in his warrior’s toolbox - a granite chin. Eubank exuded bravery and in victory or defeat displayed a knack for taking considerable amounts of punishment from his opponents.
The period between 1990 and 1995 is regarded as a golden era for British boxing and it was during this time period that Eubank was involved in his biggest and most brutal bouts, in particular his two bitter grudge matches with fellow Englishman, Nigel Benn.
The British beef between Eubank and Benn will go down in the annals of boxing history forever on these isles and for a good reason.
Unlike today, where, yes, heavyweights Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte did genuinely dislike each other, and the same for Carl Froch and George Groves. But these disputes, even with items of furniture launched in press conferences, more or less ended afterwards. Eubank v Benn was heaped in genuine animosity, that to this day, with both men well into their fifties, still exists.
Speaking in Ben Dir’s The Hate Game: Benn vs Eubank – Boxing’s Bitterest Rivalry, Eubank said of his famous enemy ahead of their first fight: “In the ring I looked at him and saw a relentless savage. But I also saw a man with a slight doubt on his mind. When he looked into my eyes he needed reassurance. I thought: ‘It’s too late for that mate. You’re mine’”
It wasn’t just Benn either, Eubank fought a plethora of great fighters during his 52-fight career including Michael Watson, Steve Collins and towards the tail-end of his career Joe Calzaghe, who remarked that Eubank was the toughest man he’d ever met in his glittering career.
Now his son Chris Eubank Jr is attempting to pick up where his father left off - under the very close supervision of Senior, of course.
With his son’s own career bubbling along nicely, it’s likely the elder Eubank, one of the sport’s most entertaining personalities, will stay in the spotlight for the foreseeable future but quirky mannerisms aside, let’s never forget how brilliant he was in the ring.