Boxing: Chris Eubank Jnr has to put up with dad

The fighter's father and manager has blocked the proposed fight between his son and Billy Joe Saunders

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The Independent Online

The promising career of Chris Eubank Jnr appears to be on hold after a proposed fight for the British and European titles with fellow unbeaten 25-year-old Billy Joe Saunders was scrapped. According to the promoter Frank Warren, it was Eubank’s father and manager, Chris Snr, the former world  super-middleweight champion, who put the block on it after it appeared an agreement had been reached.

The hours spent arguing the six-figure deal were, said Warren, among the most exasperating he has experienced in 30 years of boxing. Contractual haggling delayed the formal announcement scheduled for a London press conference on Thursday when the Eubanks failed to show up.

Deadlines were set and passed, and there was said to be a raging row between son and father back in Brighton as the outcome remained unresolved until the fight was called off with a frustrated Warren declaring: “Enough is enough. Chris Eubank is a bloody nightmare to deal with, he’s impossible. It was never about money. It’s about Chris Eubank being Chris Eubank.” Warren is now in negotiations for Saunders to fight for the vacant WBO world middleweight title.

In August, Eubank was sent the contract for Chris Jnr, for a verbally agreed shot at Saunders’ titles on the Tyson Fury-Dereck Chisora bill at London’s ExCel on  29 November. But with the Eubanks maintaining they “would not be rushed” into signing anything, Warren told The Independent on Sunday: “This show is giving me so many headaches I think I’ll get it sponsored by Anadin.”

He added: “I find it all very strange that we should end up in this position. Every time we’ve spoken, things have changed. It was young Chris who wanted the fight in the first place and Billy Joe was happy to offer him a voluntary defence of the British and European titles. Now his old man  seems to have bottled it. What other conclusion can you draw? Where does he go from here?”

The Eubank camp has remained tight lipped other than a tweet from Chris Jnr who alleged: “Frank Warren has tried to force me into signing a contract without my lawyers being able to look at it entirely and agree on it. He scheduled a press conference before the contract was even looked at properly to try and rush us into signing and agreeing on terms we don’t want. There’s no deadline when it comes to my career.”

There is no doubt Chris Jnr is a chip off the old block. He has great talent but it seems his 48-year-old father has other plans for his future, which may lie with another promoter – if he can find one to work with.

“I teach him about boxing, although I do not train him,” says Eubank Snr. “I am a mentor. He is in the furnace, living the life of a young fighter who will have the ability to inspire. I am nurturing him to be the real thing.” Tutoring the young Eubank is his father’s former henchman Ronnie Davies, 64, an old-school trainer who was as much a Jeeves to Eubank Snr, acting as minder, butler and baby-sitter for the then Lord of the Manor of Brighton.

So far, Eubank Jnr has 17 comfortable wins under his belt and looks the business.  “My goal is to have people looking at me for who I am and for what I have achieved rather than for being the son of Chris Eubank,” he told me recently. “He is not the type to blow smoke up somebody’s backside. If he truly didn’t feel I could make it, he would have no problem telling me.” So why does his father meddle? “Can you see my dad not interfering? He never stops.”