4 minutes read

Chris Eubank Sr. Scorches Heavyweight Division, Joshua, And Promoters

Chris Eubank Sr. Scorches Heavyweight Division, Joshua, And Promoters featured image
Chris Eubank Sr. weighs in on the state of boxing after the presser of the event headlined by his nephew, Harlem Eubank, and Timo Schawrzkopf (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

Chris Eubank Sr. seemed ever-present in the build-up to his nephew’s (Harlem Eubank) upcoming fight on Friday, November 10th, against Timo Schwarzkopf, and aside from embroidering Harlem’s boxing ability, Eubank also gave his two cents on the state of the heavyweight division, and boxing as a whole.

This subject was broached after the interviewer mentioned Anthony Joshua’s recent interview with renowned documentarian and journalist Louis Theroux. During their conversation, Joshua spoke on the pressure and expectations that has affected him throughout the latest portions of his career. When Chris Eubank Sr. was asked to speak on this matter, the former middleweight and super middleweight world champion seemed all too eager to give his view on Joshua and the division he fights in.

He (Anthony Joshua) had a promoter that put him in a world title fight by his sixteenth fight. That’s reckless,” Chris Eubank Sr. told Seconds Out.

That’s running amock. Just because a man has muscles doesn’t mean he can fight. You still have to learn. You’ve got to get your experience. That’s why the bar in the heavyweight division has been set so low. Because he became the picture of the heavyweight champion at sixteen fights.

So what he did there, he brought the bar down low. Which is why you have these guys running around talking. They’re aggressive, they’re breaking tables, (but) can they fight?

Chris Eubank Sr. appears to argues here that Anthony Joshua was put too early in a world title fight before he fully developed his skills, and that as a result the expectations of the heavyweight division was lowered when he became a world champion; a champion with a limited skillset.

Eubank went on to use this argument to criticize the current state of the heavyweight division.

If you compare these heavyweights to a man like Harlem, you can’t, because he learned the art, so what’s the difference? Why are they getting so much publicity?

It’s a mock. It’s a trick. I’m interested in real fighters, not fighters who are going to come in, say a few words, get social media behind them and expect to make a big splash. That’s fun, but it’s not boxing. Boxing is the king of sports. Horse racing is the sport of kings.

Boxing is modern-day gladiating, and what we have to go through is inexplicable, and point of fact is it shouldn’t be run by predators, promoters. It shouldn’t be run by men who are putting the lives of these men in danger. Real and present danger.

Chris Eubank Sr. has always been known for his unique thoughts on boxing, and the need to hold it in high esteem due to its history, the opportunity it provides, and the art that can be deciphered from watching the best in practice.

According to him, promoters have played a large role in duping the public by marketing fighters who are not elite; an example which he highlighted when he embellished the skills of his nephew Harlem Eubank to compare it the current heavyweights who he considers to have limited skills.

Tyson Fury’s recent clash with Francis Ngannou may have proven Eubank Sr. right, as Fury was unable to convincingly defeat Francis Ngannou despite the vast disparity between perceived boxing ability and experience.

When asked on the recent clash between Fury and Ngannou, Eubank Sr. referenced his earlier statements surrounding Joshua having brought down the bar of the heavyweight division.

Again, the bar was set at a level that I can’t speak on. I can’t speak on that level.” Eubank Sr. said.

Chris Eubank Sr.’s opinions on boxing will likely be heavily polarized given he has made points that do not seem to be far away from the truth. Fury’s recent loss to Ngannou certainly warrants some questions, and the perception of boxing has certainly changed since that fight.

Anthony Joshua himself admitted to his limited skillset during his post-match rant after losing to Usyk the second time, which can confirm Eubank Sr.’s assertion that he lowered the bar of the division.

As to the promoters, there have clearly been cases of them emphasizing the need for earning more money or profits rather than furthering the sport. An acute example of this is through Chris Eubank Sr.’s own son, Chris Eubank Jr., who seems set to fight Conor Benn, the son of Eubank Sr.’s most prominent former rival Nigel Benn.

Both of these offspring seem to prioritize fighting each other despite being in different weight classes and at a different stage of their careers, thus dimming the competitiveness that they should practice by fighting the best in their own division. Eubank Jr. himself was recently revealed to have refused a world title opportunity to fight Conor Benn; a bout which does nothing to their careers in the overall grand scheme of things, thus making it appear to be more of a money grab by both fighters.

Whether Eubank Sr. is right about the sport of boxing and the heavyweights of today, boxing does seem to need to undergo a vital change if it is hoping to still be looked at as a respectable and competitive sport in the foreseeable future.