As the New Year dawns with political peace breaking out over part of the UK, in boxing terms, there has been little by way of any true passing of the doves. Any pretence of accord has been cast asunder quicker than Mariah Carey performance at a New Year’s concert as those cheeky chappies from Brighton, the Eubank’s have, once again made headlines.
This is thanks to an excellent online broadcaster, IFL TV, whose mission seems to be to go around and talk to as many boxing people as possible. The then get the results up on YouTube and there are no fewer than 4 interviews that have been the talk of the town – and not just London town.
We start with a very good interview with the son – Chris Eubank, JR., 23-1, 18 KO’s. Junior comes across very well and is unafraid to take questions on all sorts including the influence of his father and how the GGG fight never happened. The interview was apposite as 2016 had not ended well for the Eubank’s as they had the fiasco of “GGG” they then dropped the scheduled British title defence with Tommy Langford, 18-0, 6 KO’s.
As well as clearing some of the stuff up about fights that never happened, the Eubank’s were keen to publicise that Junior’s next fight would be for the IBO super middleweight title. It would also be a PPV fight on a new channel – ITV PPV. Now ITV is one of the big 5 terrestrial channels in the UK who followed his father around the world and captured some of his biggest fights. They are launching, on satellite, a new channel which shall exclusively be pay per view; Junior is the marquee launch.
So, Junior appears in front of the cameras, not wholly for altruistic purposes, and gives his responses. We only need to pay attention to 2 of them.
They were quickly news beyond the Eubank’s…
In his interview, JR. calls promoter and manager of Tommy Langford, Frank Warren, a slippery character. He claims Warren tried to insert clauses into the contract for his fight with Langford that were a wee bit sneaky.
He also admits that next time round, when they are negotiating a contract for a fight he might sit in on the negotiations, which he did not do over “GGG”. With regards to the previous negotiations with “GGG’s” people he admits the commentator was asked for by his team (by his father) but disputes the ticket price claim made that they wanted to double the ticket prices. The whole line of “GGG” questioning came because Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn had claimed these were examples of the outrageous demands being made by the Eubank’s.
Not chronologically, but in terms of how they came to my attention, I clicked on the interview with Eubank, SR. or English as he once wanted to be known, again on IFL TV. Eubank, SR. was very excited about the whole deal with ITV, claiming they would make about 6 Million sales. Before the interview took place, allegedly, Kugan Cassius of IFL TV had to apologize to Eubank, SR. for tweets he had made some considerable time before; the detail of which is lost in the trivia of time.
The interview gave Eubank, SR. on imperious form, giving the lowdown on why the IBO title would be a step towards unification for Junior and how he had made Matchroom in his heyday, with record breaking appearances on ITV for Barry Hearn – father of Eddie – and the Matchroom stable.
Next up came the Frank Warren interview by IFL TV.
Warren was incandescent.
He brandished a standard British Boxing Board of Control contract, signed by Langford and Eubank, JR. as evidence that he could NOT insert any clause into it as it was just that – a standard contract.
He tore into the Eubank for this laughable pay per view fight as the opponent that JR. will face – Renold Quinlan, 11-1, 7 KO’s – has only got 12 professional fights to his name. Warren suggested the figures that the Eubank’s were quoting as potential sales for this fight was pie in the sky.
Describing the Eubank’s variously as, con artists and less than sane, this was fairly explosive stuff from one half of the two biggest promoters in the UK.
That left the other big UK promoter…
It took a little while before Eddie Hearn was interviewed for Matchroom but when he was it was further combustible material. Starting with the “GGG” contract he simply pointed out that the Eubank’s had asked for Barry McGuigan to commentate and this was unreasonable, according to Hearn, because it was Sky’s business who attended to those honors.
The dispute over the ticket prices was explained by an email sent by himself after the Eubanks missed the deadline to sign the contract. Like Warren, brandishing evidence to refute the Eubank circus, the email showed that Eddie had told the Eubank’s that their request to DOUBLE the ticket prices for the show had been unreasonable.
The real shock was held back and was the revelation that Eubank, SR. had asked for an appearance fee for turning up at Barry Hearn’s surprise birthday party.
Eddie had relented and paid for a driver to bring SR. but had refused the appearance fee request.
Furthermore, he also poured scorn on the sales figures for this pay per view fight especially as he was involved in the undercard. He thinks it shall be a shadow of what is needed to do good business never mind set the records that SR. thinks he can.
Hearn asked when it is to be publicly announced as the date for this fight is the 4th February in London – announcements with ticket sales and pay per view details shall be needed soon.
Hearn also poured further cold water on the whole pay per view figure quoted by Sr but was less angry than Warren – then again, he had not been called slippery. Hearn was united with Warren – highly unusual – in the view of the Eubank’s being difficult to work with. He was however, likely to work with them if the deal was right whilst Warren was completely dismissive of getting on board that train EVER again.
It’s been an interesting Christmas and New Year over here and 2017 looks like being more crackers than ever… 4th February cannot come quick enough…Contact the Feature Writers