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25th Jan 2016

Chris Eubank talks about the importance of Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan fight in his son’s career

Out of the shadows

Darragh Murphy

There are certain fights that define a fighter’s career.

And while Chris Eubank Jr will be hoping that the inevitable world title fights down the line will eclipse anything that’s happened thus far, it was after his most recent fight that many sat up and took notice.

At 26, he may be too young to appreciate the significance of his WBA middleweight title eliminator against Cork’s Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan but the importance is not lost on his father, boxing legend Chris Eubank.


“He’s got a lot of me in him,” Eubank said of his son. “It was only the other day that I noticed that he’s exactly as I was, he’s insular! As in, he’s so focused and his entire personality is just the same. He’s got a lot of spirit.

“In our last fight against Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, he took an overhand right in the third round that travelled about ten inches. These are the shots that knock you out because these are the shots that have the weight of your torso in them. When shots come from the hip, they only have 10-12 lbs of power but when your torso is in it, all the weight of your body is in that shot and that’s the one that does the most damage.

Boxing at The O2

“He took the shot in the third round and he didn’t buckle. And it was an overhand right like ‘Spike’ was bowling a ball. That shot usually knocks people out but Junior didn’t even take a backwards step.

“Why is that important?

“That’s important because the most vital thing when achieving anything in boxing is based around how well you take a shot. If he can do that then, actually, he can get to the top.

Boxing at The O2

“With his ability, his speed and his irrepressible fighting attitude, it looks to me like he has all the ingredients. But the most important ingredient is being able to absorb punishment and that he can do as ‘Spike’ proved.

“It was in that fight that he forced himself out of my shadow. So where people were saying ‘Daddy’s boy’ now he’s proven that he’s more than that by taking those shots.”

Eubank Jr moved to 21-1 with his victory over ‘Spike’ as the Irishman was forced to retire at the end of the 7th round and the relentlessness of ‘Next Gen’ proved to Eubank Sr that he had something unique on his hands.

“Junior is mean-spirited in my view,” Eubank said. “He would have loved for the fight to have carried on because he isn’t like me.

“I had a good temperament. He’s mean-spirited and wanted the fight to continue so he could have really hurt ‘Spike’.

“He took it really personal when Gary kissed him before the fight. He very much took it to heart and I said to him ‘he’s supposed to do that.’

“The only chance that ‘Spike’ had against him was to dislodge him, to get under his skin. And it seemed to me that he had but he can’t let people do that.

“He’s mean-spirited as a fighter but as a human he’s a gentleman. He is his father’s son. As a fighter, though, he’s a hurtful fighter! He’s compulsive viewing already.”