Where once their fathers were rivals inside the ring and enemies outside it, now their sons are linked by a common cause.
Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn have dispelled the animosity their legendary fathers once had and came together to support Campbell Hatton who has joined the same path.
The three sons of British boxing icons are in different stages of emerging from their fathers’ shadow – Saturday Sky Sports ticket office undercard, Eubank Jr takes on Marcus Morrison and Hatton has his second professional fight.
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Benn has become a thrilling undefeated welterweight and Eubank Jr recounts Sky Sports about him: “Respect has always been there. Especially with the rivalry my dad and Nigel Benn had.
“They might not like each other back then but the respect was still there.
Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn had two classic battles in the 90s and a deep dislike for each other that threatened to spill over into the next generation.
Eubank Sr’s attempt to publicly offer advice to Conor Benn in 2016 elicited an angry reaction: “Who are you to talk about my personal life in front of these cameras? I find that extremely disrespectful.”
Perhaps perceptions have shifted as Eubank Jr and Conor Benn better understand the struggles their fathers went through in the toughest sport.
They have now seen Ricky Hatton’s son Campbell join them as the son of a competing legend by winning his debut.
“The kid is green,” says Eubank Jr. “He must live up to his father’s big name. People said he was struggling, he didn’t look good, he wasn’t so good as the old man.
“Those were the things I was facing when I had my first fight. Being compared to a world champion when I started out! It’s crazy. It’s unfair. It doesn’t make sense.
“But that’s boxing – I had to learn quickly that boxing isn’t fair, the critics aren’t fair, the public isn’t fair. They expect something and if you don’t deliver not, they will let you know.
“I made sure to deliver as much as possible.
“Hatton will have to do the same. It’s a very ruthless and grueling way of life.
“People don’t forget and don’t let you forget.”
Eubank Jr.’s best career win over James DeGale came without his dad in his corner, and Ricky Hatton responded: “As tough as it can be if he takes a backseat and lets the coach do his job, Junior will benefit, believe me.
“It was a good learning fight for him. He will get better and, if he wants to be strong enough, he will continue to move forward with the trials and tribulations that come with being the son of a world champion.
“He’ll make his own way, his own way. It’s the only thing you can do. You can’t live in the shadows, or live up to someone else’s name all your life.
“Eventually you have to go your own way and he will come to the point where he has to become his own man. It is difficult but, if he wants it enough, he will.”
Benn had previously warned Hatton: “You’ve got to face criticism. You’ve got to have thick skin. It’s not pleasant and I struggled with it. I’m moved because I was a young child and I didn’t. didn’t. I expect it to be so intense. “
Benn has a connection to the Hatton clan – when he left his father in Australia for the UK to pursue a boxing career, he considered joining Ricky Hatton in Manchester.
He is now “a prime example” for Campbell Hatton, says his uncle and coach Matthew: “He turned professional in the spotlight but didn’t have the amateur experience that Campbell had – Conor was very raw but got better. better.”
Eubank Jr considers himself the most accomplished of these three sons, but it has been two years since his victory over DeGale.
An impressive dismantling of opponent Morrison on Saturday will launch a lawsuit against IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin – but Eubank Jr is no longer desperate to overshadow his father’s accomplishments.
“I’m 31 now, went there and did it. The pressure to live up to a name? Maintain a legacy? It’s not in the foreground as it was when I started, ”he says. “I have proven what I am and what I am capable of.”
The legacy will always be there. These sons fight with a pressure that only they can understand.
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