Boxing: Eubank steals the limelight and upsets Americans: Jonathan Rendall sees Britain's controversial boxing champion trump Don King in New York

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The Independent Online
If Chris Eubank was not known to the American boxing world before yesterday he is now. Speaking at a press conference in New York, Eubank did what no man has managed before: make Don King stop talking.

In the process Eubank managed to upset almost everyone else at the gathering at which a galaxy of champions from all over the world met to announce a series of unification bouts, including the one between Eubank, the WBO super-middleweight champion, and Nigel Benn, the WBC holder, on 9 October.

Undeterred by his back seat position on the podium behind such American boxing stars as Michael 'Second To' Nunn and Terry Norris, Eubank had decided that there could only be one ringmaster. Rising to his feet, he declared that he was 'simply the best' and demanded that questions be directed to him under 'parliamentary practice'.

Catcalls from other boxers and their camps rang out and both Benn and Nunn, who holds yet another version of the title, stood up to confront Eubank. However, Eubank had seized the microphone from King's hands and the shock-haired promoter's squawks of 'Hey, I'm the guy putting up the money' were to no avail.

Both Benn and Norris, the WBC world light-middleweight champion, left the podium in disgust. Nunn assured his fellow countrymen: 'I'll straighten this guy out if he ever gets in a ring.' As Eubank, dressed in an expensive check waistcoat, cream shirt and burgundy tie, held forth, murmurs of 'Who the hell is this guy?' went around the room. An American trainer offered: 'I think he must be one of those English guys who play polo at weekends.'

Doubtless it will all sell tickets although even King cautioned: 'We will all need time to understand this young man.' The co-promoters of Benn-Eubank, Frank Warren and Barry Hearn, could barely conceal their satisfaction. In turn, King described Hearn as 'this amazing man' and Warren as 'more powerful than a speeding bullet and I mean that literally'. The ITV executive producer, Trevor East, was likened by King to 'Winston Churchill'.

The King-sponsored unification series of 'real contests' will, he said, also prevent the media from casting aspersions about his past. 'I'm taking you all off the surf board of cynicism,' King said, 'enabling you to write only with glowing affection.'

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