A fight that many believed was beyond the realms of possibility becomes a reality as Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn lock horns at the O2 Arena in a fight to further one of the biggest rivalries in British boxing history.
The rivalry began back in 1990 when Conor's father, Nigel Benn, would defend his WBO middleweight title against Chirs's father, Chris Eubank Sr, at the NEC in Birmingham. The bout captured the attention of British boxing fans as it was clear that these two did not get along. The contract for this bout was signed live on the ITV news, Eubank Sr claimed the bout was strictly business, whilst Benn confirmed that he hated Eubank Sr.
The contracts were signed, and the fight was on. Benn started fast as expected, but Eubank Sr's constant pressure and stern punches began to take their toll on Benn and it all became too much in round nine as Eubank Sr managed to get the job done in round nine, crowning him the new WBO middleweight champion. Benn would get his shot at redemption three years later, as he would collide with Eubank Sr again, this time in a supper middleweight unification bout, as Benn now held the WBC belt and Eubank Sr held the WBO title. The pair would do battle at Old Trafford and 12 rounds could not separate them, as they would battle to a controversial split decision draw.
Benn and Eubank Sr would never actually get the trilogy bout with each other, which remains one of boxing's biggest 'what ifs.' However, we almost saw the pair lock horns again, this time outside the ring. Both Benn and Eubank Sr would feature on the tv show Gladiator in 2003, where Benn and Eubank Sr were infamously pulled apart after almost engaging in a fistfight following Benn pushing Eubank Sr.
Eubank Sr called time on his boxing career in 1998 following his loss to Carl Thompson. However, in 2012, the boxing world saw the next generation of the Eubank name as Chris Eubank Jr made his pro debut. Eubank Jr tore through the division and would be undefeated for 18 fights. Eubank went for his first titles when he challenged Billy Joe Saunders for the British, Commonwealth and European middleweight titles in 2014, Eubank Jr would come up short on this night, but wouldn't let it hold him back as he would pick up the WBA 'interim' title with a 12th round TKO victory over Dmitry Chudinov next time out.
Eubank Jr would pick up the British title three fights later as he defeated Nick Blackwell, Eubank Jr defended the title once against Tom Doran, before looking to step up to world level. Eubank Jr became IBO super middleweight champion in his next bout, defeating Renold Quinlan. Eubank Jr would go on to defeat Arthur Abraham, a win which secured him a place in the World Boxing Super Series. Eubank Jr would reach the semi-final of the series after a big knockout victory in the quarter-final over Avni Yildirim. Eubank Jr's semi-final opponent would be WBA champion, George Groves. Eubank Jr came up short on that night and was handed the second loss of his career. Eubank Jr came back to defeat JJ McDonagh before securing a massive win over former world champion, James DeGale.
Eubank Jr looked to continue momentum following his victory over DeGale and did so as he became WBA 'interim' champion for a second time as he stopped Matvey Korobov in two rounds following an injury to Korobov. A wide points win over Marcus Morrison would follow, before a fifth-round stoppage of Wanik Awdijan. Last time out, Eubank Jr entered enemy territory as he travelled into Cardiff to take on tough Welshman and domestic rival, Liam Williams. Eubank Jr dominated Williams, dropping him four times on his way to a wide points win.
Nigel Benn retired in 1996, but the Benn name was back in the boxing world when his son Conor turned pro in 2016. Benn racked up a record of 10-0 as he learnt on the job, but there was no lesson bigger than what he learnt in his 11th fight. Benn took on Cedrick Peynaud, a man Benn was expected to beat. Peynaud almost ripped up the script, as he floored Benn twice in the first round. Benn bounced back and managed to send Peynaud to the canvas in both rounds five and six to sway the bout in his favour.
Benn would rematch Peynaud two fights later, this time over 10 rounds and the WBA Continental title would be on the line. Benn showed what he'd learnt and would go on to outbox Peynaud over the duration. Benn's breakout performance came in his 15th bout, as he was given the headline act at York Hall against Jussi Koivula. Benn demolished Koivula in two rounds to show he was ready to step up.
Benn stopped Steve Jamoye in his next outing with a fourth-round stoppage, before moving on to produce a near-punch-perfect performance against Sebastian Formella as he cruised to a wide points victory. Benn would step up to face Samuel Vargas next, Benn silenced any critics who claimed that this would be his toughest fight, as he blew Vargas away in one round.
Benn built on the Vargas victory as he banked 10 solid rounds against Adrian Granados next time out, picking up a wide decision. Benn would show his vicious side in his next outing, as he brutally dispatched veteran Chris Algieri in four rounds. Last time out, Benn got another stoppage as he dismantled Chris Van Heerden in two rounds.
Eubank Jr and Benn meet at a 157lb catchweight, which will see Eubank Jr drop to a weight he claims he hasn't made since he was 18, whilst Benn jumps up from the 147lb welterweight limit to meet Eubank Jr in the middle. Eubank Jr has also claimed that he is training himself for this bout, as he believes he only needs to be at 60% to beat Benn.
Eubank Jr and Benn collide this Saturday at the O2 Arena in London in a bout correctly dubbed 'Born Rivals.' This event has sold out, so if you weren't able to get a ticket, you can watch all the action unfold live on DAZN PPV for £19.99.