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Boxing 2020

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1 minute ago, John102 said:

He was atrocious against ryder. You can explain it with different things, but struggled to find range and keep him at distance.

 

Expect a better performance than fielding put up but the same outcome. 

Yeah I think Canelo wins but I have a feeling it will be closer than most expect.

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30 years since the original Benn Eubank fight this weekend.

 

One for the Things That Make You Feel Older thread. Fuck sake.

 

Nigel Benn exclusive interview: 'Now my life is helping other people - that’s what I get a buzz from'

Thirty years on from his first epic fight with Chris Eubank, the double world champion says voluntary work is his passion

Nigel Benn portrait
Nigel Benn now does voluntary work at his local church in Australia CREDIT: Rii Schroer for The Telegraph

There are two big anniversaries coming up in the life of Nigel Benn, but there can be no doubt which is the more significant.

It is exactly 30 years this weekend since Benn first climbed into a ring with Chris Eubank and the fiercest rivals in British boxing history produced what was recently voted its greatest fight. “How do you begin to put a price on the pain, effort and commitment the pair traded?” asked Boxing News, in describing the bout following its poll.

But it was shortly after losing his world middleweight title so dramatically that Benn met Carolyne Jackson. They are still together – “happier now than ever” – living in Australia, where they are volunteers at the Hillsong Church in New South Wales. They will also be looking on from a distance on Saturday night when their welterweight son, Conor, tops the bill on Sky Sports against Sebastian Formella. When Benn tells me his two pieces of fatherly advice – “don’t sleep around and pay your taxes” – then you get a hint of how chaotic his life once was.

Benn bluntly says that he would be in a “mental hospital or six-feet under” without his wife and, having confessed and faced up to a drug addiction and series of affairs, the family are reunited. He also says that his life now has a meaning far beyond anything he achieved during an extraordinary boxing career.

“Serving other people – it’s in another league,” he says. “The only time I really enjoyed myself before was when I was training. Besides that, everything else was an absolute nightmare. It was all about self. There is so much attached to that lifestyle – the clubbing, the partying, the drugs. That was me – but it’s not the real me. I was a young, messed-up kid who didn’t mature until he became a Christian. That was in 2008 – the rest of my life, I’d been living a lie. Now my life is helping other people. That’s what I get a buzz from.”

Benn puts himself on 24-hour call and, while his volunteering ranges from speaking to people who are experiencing depression or bipolar disorder, delivering food around the neighbourhood, maintaining gardens of the elderly and helping patients in hospitals with tasks such as shaving, he describes Carolyne as being “on another level … in a different league” for the work she does.

Sport, Boxing, pic: 18th November 1990, W,B,O, Middleweight Championship at Birmingham, Chris Eubank beat Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, right, on the attack on the way to stopping Nigel Benn in the 9th round
Thirty years ago Nigel Benn met Chris Eubank for the first time in the ring, one of the most brutal and greatest fights in British history CREDIT: Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty Images

“There are about 30 or 40 women she looks after – people who have lost their children, domestic violence … she deals with so much. That’s her calling. She has a lot of empathy for people. She’s my knight in shining armour. It should be the other way around but that’s the way it is. I met her when she was 20 – next year she is 50. Now we have both got grey hair.”

As the conversation inevitably shifts to Eubank, it is clear that much has changed. The terrifying stare has been replaced by a prolonged chuckle and, if Benn could walk into a room today with his old nemesis, he says that his first instinct would not be a booming hook but a big hug. He has just heard that Eubank spent lockdown studying Shakespeare and dinosaurs – “that’s so funny – my little son Levi absolutely loves dinosaurs” – after a planned speaking tour together was cancelled. The sense of an intense bond, however, remains. “I’ve smelt the blood on Nigel’s breath,” Eubank once explained. “When you fight a man, you get to know a great deal about that man. Your souls share something. What you are sharing is so profound. Very close. What relationship can be closer than that?”

Benn agrees that there is a special connection. “We entertained a lot of people – we had over 18.5 million watching on ITV and over half a billion around the word – how can you dislike somebody you shared that with? Me and Chris will always challenge each other. That’s just the way we are made. There will always be a rivalry.” Benn describes his own previous boxing philosophy as “let’s get in there and have a fight, mate” and, in the Boxing News countdown of great British fights, it was striking that he featured in four of them.

British boxer Conor Benn (R) celebrates beating Bulgarian boxer Ivailo Boyanov
Nigel with his son Conor, who fights Sebastian Formella on Saturday night CREDIT:  JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

He was shaped by almost five years serving in the Army, where he was stationed in Germany and then Northern Ireland, before turning professional and winning his first 22 fights inside the distance. Only three of those bouts even went past two rounds. After once signing on for £36.40 every two weeks, he suddenly found himself being paid £1,000 for what was generally a few minutes’ work. That would multiply after becoming a two-weight world champion, but his most extraordinary victory – against Gerald McClellan in 1995 – was most remembered for the brain damage that his opponent so tragically sustained. Benn now prefers to watch his son “from a distance” but is amazed by how the preparation of boxers has so improved. “Conor’s doing a fine job – completely different to me,” says Benn. “We didn’t have dietitians, or strength and conditioning coaches. His training blows mine out of the water. He’s a Trojan, a proper gladiator. He will go from strength to strength.”

With the sun shining and Covid-19 at such low rates in Australia, Benn also has some observations about the pandemic. He was in England this year and lost his brother, Mark, to the virus in April. “It’s been tough for all my family,” he says. “Covid is very much under control here, nothing like England. There are $1,000 fines for any breaches of the rules – they hit them hard and don’t play around. It’s completely different. Hopefully, by the end of the year, everything will be back to normal.”

He also hopes that the planned series of shows with Eubank can be rescheduled for 2021. “It would be nice to see him.”

And how will they greet each other? “It would be a hug, not a handshake – it’s been a long time,” he says.

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Watched the Manguia/Johnson fight, from last month, earlier and it wasn't pretty:

 

 

 <NSFW>tureano-johnson-lip.jpeg</NSFW>

 

Don't know how to do not safe for work tags anymore and I blame Dave.

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Formella is about 4/1 tonight which is a good bet only for that fact that he'll get robbed even if he batters Benn for 12 rounds.

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10 minutes ago, John102 said:

Unfortunately for the gippo, that's now 5 stoppage losses on the spin. 

He's absolute shite.

 

Babic is shite as well.

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That was a bit odd , seemed like it was developing into a decent scrap and then Lartey seemed to get wobbled by a nothing jab and took steps backward and was ready to go to the next shot.

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1 minute ago, sir roger said:

That was a bit odd , seemed like it was developing into a decent scrap and then Lartey seemed to get wobbled by a nothing jab and took steps backward and was ready to go to the next shot.

I did think it was a bit odd how he was wobbled  by the jab like. 

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Formella was fucking shite.

 

Matchroom will match Benn well now to build up some hype but when he fights someone with a pulse he'll get shown up.

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1 hour ago, Elite said:

Formella was fucking shite.

 

Matchroom will match Benn well now to build up some hype but when he fights someone with a pulse he'll get shown up.

Was it Shawn Porter's dad he fought ?

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17 hours ago, sir roger said:

Was it Shawn Porter's dad he fought ?

Shawn Porter must have been pissed to go 12 rounds with him.

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8 minutes ago, Kevin D said:

 

Remember watching that one live. How on earth did Thompson survive those early rounds.

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