Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by BlackCloud, Jul 16, 2014.
Nothing to do with his ring entrance, obscene posturing during rounds and monocle during interviews.
There was a period when Bruno and Tyson were left in the dark. Eubank seemed to be on every front page (Watson 'robbery', Watson tragedy, Range Rover tragedy, Benn rematch), every chat show every week, and drew those 15,000,000 figures six-weekly! We'll never see it again and never had, or since.
Globally he drew 500,000,000 for the Benn return by all accounts.
You sure you aren't Eubank Jr because you seem to be getting a bit mixed up here.
You may have had the odd day when he was in the headlines as you have mentioned above but that was all it was....the odd day.
Every chat show every week?....really?
The Benn rematch was very big i'll grant you that but that was more to do with the fact that people were watching in the hope that Benn sparked him i'm afraid.
No way in hell was Eubank anywhere close to Bruno in popularity or Global recognition.
And please don't even try to compare him with Tyson in any criteria.
Global recognition? Bruno? Hmmm
The odd day? Try a week at a time.
Everybody Loves Chris... now.
First a few facts about the boxer: He was brave, fearless, annoying to watch, frustrating at times, complex and he had more world title fights that any other European boxer in history.
Chris Eubank was and remains boxing's most enigmatic performer. Trust me, performer is the right word.
A few weeks ago somebody asked me for sport's most underestimated competitor and it took me less than a second to name Eubank. It's possible that if a million other people were asked to name the most overrated person in sport, that they would come up with the same name: Eubank.
The first time I remember watching Eubank fight was in a dirty old hall in Basildon, Es***. He had not long moved back to Britain after a few years in America. He arrived at the Romford base of his promoter and immediately the buzz about the crank from Peckham, who had lived in New York, started to circulate. It was 1989 and boxing was a very different beast. It was, to keep it simple, pre-Eubank.
On that night at the Festival Hall the paying public watched Eubank stop a particularly tough American called Ron Malek. It took five rounds and the crowd was captivated. They had booed him at one point, cheered for Malek at another point but they had stood as one at the end and applauded Eubank out of the ring.
Later than night I realised that I had seen him several times but in Basildon, in my opinion, he took the first bold steps to becoming the Chris Eubank that would dominate the sport in Europe for most of a decade. In Basildon he became the showman and, to paraphrase the immortal King of Commentary, Reg Gutteridge, the ego landed.
Just 13 months later Eubank was in the opposite corner in Birmingham for the first of 24 world title fights. He was unbeaten in 24 fights but he was the underdog against Nigel Benn that night. Ringside opinion was not really divided: Eubank, you see, was not considered much of anything and Benn was an old-school brawler.
It was 1990 and it was the fight that set the tone for British boxing's greatest decade. Eubank won an epic and brutal struggle and he was to become the sport's number one attraction - loved and loathed in equal measure for most of the Nineties.
At the time nobody in the boxing business realised just how pivotal the nine rounds in Birmingham would be. The sport changed forever that night and it left behind many of its ancient traditions. Eubank was a talker, there were million-pound deals, he acted like he was running the business and the people wanted him more and more. He had turned the sport upside down and altered the way a good fighter and his manager/promoter do business.
Eubank was the star and with enormous audiences on ITV and the arrival of SKY he had the perfect platforms to become bigger than boxing. We tend to forget that Eubank showed professional boxers how to become the proper 'pain in the arse' they now are to the men that run the modern sport of boxing. If you like, he gave them a voice and taught them that they were not slaves to TV companies, managers or promoters. He was, I know because promoters have told me, a total nightmare to do business with. Eubank was the show.
Title fights quickly followed the win over Benn in Birmingham. There was controversy, a bit of comedy and some tragedy in the first 10 months. He was seldom out of the papers or off the TV Screen. No fighter had ever received the same amount of exposure.
The second fight with Michael Watson raised Eubank's profile to a unique level. In less than a year he had gone from an unknown pugilist to arguably the most recognised sportsman in Europe. However, the attention, in the months after the end of the second Watson fight, was unwanted and in some instances unnecessarily cruel.
He fought on, kept winning and in 1993 over 43,000 people and half a billion worldwide watched his drawn second fight with Benn. It remains a record audience, a night that people will never forget at a time when the sport in Britain was more popular than ever.
The decade was truly fabulous but forget Naseem Hamed and Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno and Benn because Eubank was the biggest star at the time.
Eubank last fought in July 1998. He was stopped on his feet with one eye closed in a savage rematch with Carl Thompson. He was not happy. He left the ring with a record of 45 wins, five defeats and two draws. Those are the statistics but what he really achieved inside the ropes of boxing rings is far harder to calculate.
Nobody before and nobody since has come close to having the same impact over the same amount of years.
With Linford Christie, he was British sport for about a decade.
It blows my mind that half a billion people watched his rematch with Benn. Half a billion?
I'm tempted to question the validity of that figure. It it's true, that is staggering.
None of this makes him a crossover star.
The trouble is all that on a hugely bigger scale had been
done by Ali 30 years before.
I would dispute that figure of half a billion people, no way.
Eubank could walk down the street in the US and nobody would know him.
Anyone mentioned Marciano yet?
Surely everyone has heard of Rocky Marciano?
John L. Sullivan, James J. Corbett, James J. Jeffries, Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Max Baer, Joe Louis, Ray Robinson, Jake Lamotta, Rocky Graziano, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, Oscar DeLaHoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao.
My 5 year old daughter is very aware of Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, and Joe Frazier.
She is also very aware of Clint Eastwood, Bruce Lee, Johnny Unitas, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken Jr., Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, the Beastie Boys, Joan Jett, and some other cool ass famous people.
You'll never top Ali, of course, and few will ever come close.
That said Barry McGuigan was very popular, all things considered.
At the height of his fame I would imagine that just about everyone in North American and Europe had at least heard of him.
Even today, well over twenty years since he last boxed, McGuigan remains a famous and popular figure in Ireland and the UK.
You can't find people here in England who know who Oscar De La Hoya is, and you can't find people who don't know who Chris Eubank is. The difference being vast is a gross understatement.
You still seem to be confusing all of this with Global recognition and as Sal has pointed out the term 'crossover' does not apply to either of the above, although Oscar would have a vastly larger fanbase globally.