For those fans who always felt bitter middleweight/super-middleweight rivals Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank had unfinished business to attend to back in the 1990s, by way of a third fight, there could be good news. Benn, who retired with a 42-5-1(35) record in 1996 after back-to-back losses to Irishman Steve Collins, recently made noise that suggested the 52-year-old was genuinely interested in returning to the ring to face the monocle-wearing fighter that so managed to get under his skin back in the day.
Benn went as far as to give Eubank, 49, a deadline of three months to take the fight, yes or no. Now, in speaking with Sky Sports on the subject Eubank, who last boxed in 1998, losing back-to-back cruiserweight wars with Carl Thompson and exiting with a 45-5-2(23) record, gave the biggest hint yet that, yes, he is interested in a third fight – not only that, but Eubank is already thinking about discussing the TV rights to show the fight.
“The latest is in the not too distant future, I will be able to speak to particular people in broadcasting to speak about the rights. That’s business,” Eubank said. “When there is a press conference to be had you will be the first to hear.”
Okay, the fight is far from a done deal, but wouldn’t Eubank just say no, there will not be a third fight, if that was the case? Stranger things have happened in boxing and the seniors circuit and the nostalgia that goes along with it has sold well in the past. And as long as they are matched together, and not against some young puncher half their age, what’s to stop Benn and Eubank lacing the gloves up one more time. You know you’ll watch if they do fight, don’t you?
Benn has kept himself in fine physical shape and so has Eubank, suggesting there would be no real issue with either man passing the pre-fight medicals. Their rivalry still exists, and that would be the motivation – that and a potential ton of money – needed to fight again.
The two British superstars, who really did capture the imagination of the entire British public with their bitter rivalry, should have had a third fight, basically in the interest of deciding who was the superior fighter. Eubank burst onto the world scene in November 1990, when he stopped Benn in the 9th-round of a thriller watched by millions to take the WBO middleweight title. Benn appeared to have gained revenge in October of 1993, when the two boxed a return up at super-middleweight. But despite most fans feeling Benn had done enough in the return that was watched by even more people around the globe, the verdict was a draw. Still, in the eyes of most observers, Benn and Eubank were, and still are, 1-1; although officially Eubank won the series 1-0-1.
Both men have sons who have followed them into the squared circle – Eubank Junior already being an accomplished pro in his own right, Conor Benn about to make his pro debut – and plenty of people will no doubt say, the two veterans should be sensible and let the kids do the fighting these days. But whoever said good sense had to come into the making of a big fight?
Benn-Eubank III, “Unfinished Business,” can’t you just see it happening before the end of the year!