Boxing: Eubank sheds sock at weigh-in

CHRIS EUBANK had to remove one of his thick woollen socks to make the weight for tonight's World Boxing Organisation super- middleweight title defence against Dan Schommer in Sun City, South Aftrica.

Eubank, locked in his usual battle to make the weight, was fractionally over the 12st limit on his first trip to the scales. But, after taking off the sock, he was right on the limit, the 12th time in 13 fights he had registered that poundage.

Eubank then illustrated just how tough it had been to get down to the stipulated weight. Immediately after stepping off the scales, an ice-box was produced and he downed two-and-a-half pints of orange juice. Schommer made only one visit to the scales and was around a pound inside the limit.

For 72 hours, Eubank had endured a punishing regime to trim down to 12st for his meeting with the Minnesota fighter.

Eubank has never found it easy to keep his weight down, and his diet had been little food and only a sparse intake of liquid. This, added to the heat and 2,000ft altitude, has conspired to give him a jaded appearance.

Although Schommer, 34, is not fancied to give Eubank any serious trouble, the strain and pressure of weight-making could increase the dangers posed by a challenger bringing with him a 31-fight unbeaten record, albeit built up against some modest opposition.

There have been signs of decline in Eubank's ring peformances in recent months and he has diced so often with the judges' verdicts that one crucial decision must go against him if he continues to restrict his fighting to one minute out of three.

Schommer has not been slow to notice Eubank's condition. 'I've never known anyone who trains and prepares like he does, fasting for two days and that kind of stuff,' he said. 'How on earth does he keep his energy?' However, the American has not fought for 11 months and only twice in three years.

Eubank, as most observers realise, is a complete law unto himself, with around pounds 8m earned and no defeats in 17 successive title fights. 'I think I'm different because I am a winner,' he said.

The fight will be refereed by South Africa's Stan Christadoulou, who has refereed three of Eubank's title bouts - against John Jarvis, Tony Thornton and Lindell Holmes.