Chris Eubank - "Fame Kills Your Hunger. Money Destroys You"

by James Slater - Today, on The Steve Bunce Boxing Hour, former WBO middleweight and super-middleweight champion Chris Eubank was a special guest. Joining the Setanta team in the studio, Eubank had quite a lot to say. Beginning by giving viewers his memories of the late, great British commentator Reg Gutteridge - a man Chris had enormous respect for - Eubank then gave young fighters such as David Haye advice..

As Haye's manager and trainer Adam Booth, also a guest on the show, listened, Eubank gave his sage advice. Chris spoke about the enormous importance of sparring, while also warning of the perils of fame and money.

What the often referred to as eccentric Eubank had to say was extremely interesting, to say the least, and he had a few not so encouraging words for Olympic gold medallist James DeGale.

Chris said his piece, and he said it to all young fighters in general.

"Stay away from fame," Eubank said. "Stay away from gifts. You have to work, to fight. You have to spar. Sparring is number one. Fame kills your hunger. You need to earn your position, and to do that it is sparring - as much as you can, spar. I would give credibility to nothing else - sparring is number one.

"When you're getting beaten up in the gym it is good for you. Fighters who have it their own way most of the time [in sparring] end up getting stopped, they end up becoming white elephants. A perfect example is Audley Harrison. Money destroys you."

While not too many people would argue with Eubank's take on Harrison's career, some will disagree with what "Simply The Best" had to say about another Olympic gold medallist, in middleweight James DeGale.

"They've given, I believe, this young fighter James DeGale, a million [pounds]," Eubank queried. "Well (upon being told DeGale has indeed been given somewhere in the whereabouts of 1 million), I guarantee you he will fail. I guarantee you. It [money] robs your hunger. I fought Michael Watson in 1991, and I wanted respect - which is why I got up off the floor in the eleventh round. I got up to carry on because I didn't yet have respect.

"To get respect you have to be able to take a beating. When I say beatings in the gym, I mean not being on top all the time. When you're on top all the time you're gonna be a white elephant. When you're getting beaten up, that's when you're learning."

Eubank, who fought at the highest level for over a decade and captured two world titles, clearly knows plenty about the boxing game, but will young fighters such as DeGale take kindly to his words?

Chris finished off his speech by giving yet another warning - this one about the female company successful young fighters often attract.

"Money and fame, that brings girls," Eubank said. "Girls will destroy you. I'm telling my boys this every single day."

The great Chris Eubank; a man who is always anything but dull!

Article posted on 30.01.2009

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