29 years ago today, Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn battled to a draw in a rematch at Old Trafford in one of the highest-viewed bouts in British boxing.
These two warriors had a genuine disdain for each other. The rivalry began back on the 18th of November 1990, as Benn would be defending his WBO middleweight title against Eubank 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 ITV news, Eubank claimed the bout was strictly business, whilst Benn confirmed that he hated Eubank.
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 again on 10th October 1993, this time in a super middleweight unification bout, as Benn now held the WBC belt and Eubank 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. The general consensus after the 12 rounds was that Benn would be declared the victor, but it wasn’t to be. The rematch was broadcast live on ITV and drew in a whopping 15.6 million viewers watching live.
We never saw Eubank and Benn collide again, however, their sons Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn were pencilled in to fight last night. The bout would be cancelled on fight week though, due to an adverse finding in Benn’s VADA test.