Christopher Livingstone Eubanks (born August 8, 1966), best known as Chris Eubank, is a British former boxer who held world titles at middleweight and super middleweight. He was a world champion for over five years, undefeated in his first ten years as a professional, and remained undefeated at middleweight. In his final years of boxing he fought at light heavyweight and cruiserweight. His world title contests against fellow Britons Nigel Benn and Michael Watson helped British boxing ride a peak of popularity in the 1990s, and Eubank's eccentric personality made him one of the most recognisable celebrities of the period.
Christopher Livingstone Eubanks (later opting to remove the 's' from his surname), one of the sons of Rachel Scollins, was born on August 8, 1966, in Dulwich, South London, and spent his early days in Jamaica (from two months old to six years old). On his return to England, he lived in Stoke Newington, Dalston, Hackney and then Peckham, in a largely impoverished environment.
He attended Northwold Primary School in Upper Clapton, Bellingden Junior School, and then Thomas Calton Secondary School in Peckham, from where he was suspended eighteen times in one year and then expelled, despite claiming he was gallantly trying to protect other children from bullies. Some time was spent at Orchard Lodge Regional Resource Centre, Anerley, in 1981. When he was 16, his father sent him to New York in the U.S. to live with his mother in the tough South Bronx district.
Eubank made a fresh start in New York, battling drug, alcohol and shoplifting addictions to attend church and school. In his spare time he trained at the Jerome Boxing Club on Westchester Avenue, following in the footsteps of his boxing elder brothers (twins, Peter and Simon Eubanks) back in England. Eubank became obsessed with boxing training and went to the gym every day, even working as a caretaker to pay his way. He won the 1984 Spanish Golden Gloves Tournament and also got to the semi-final stage of the main Golden Gloves tourney at Madison Square Garden at aged 18.
He writes in his autobiography that his drive to succeed in boxing came through his drive to become an accepted individual, largely caused by subjective bullying from his elder brothers.
He made his professional debut at the Atlantis Hotel and Casino against Tim Brown, shortly after his 19th birthday. About his next 10 fights went largely unnoticed, then in February 1989 he made brief headlines in defeating Jamaican Anthony Logan in an undercard match to a Nigel Benn-headlined show. Benn was arguably the biggest rising star in European sport at the time and Logan had come closest to beating the power-punching Benn in what was Benn's most memorable clash to date. Eubank had already made Brighton in England his adopted hometown and set his sights on Benn, believing he could beat him.
After a string of impressive stoppage victories following a dominant 10-round decision over American 'gatekeeper'/'journeyman' Randy Smith, Eubank captured the WBC International title in 1990 against the useful Hugo Corti. Later in the year, he knocked out Renaldo Dos Santos in precisely 20 seconds (including the 10-count).
WBO Middleweight Champion
Eubank won the WBO middleweight title against Nigel Benn (and the odds) in a classic encounter that was later released on DVD: a gruelling battle which ended when Benn (ahead on points, but only narrowly) was stopped on his feet near the end of round 9. Eubank would defend the title successfully against Dan Sherry (in a fight cut short by a headbutt, for which Eubank was penalised 2 points but still won on points over the 9 completed rounds), fellow Briton Gary Stretch and finally in an excellent match with another fellow Briton, Michael Watson, fighting him to a narrow 12-round majority decision in Eubank's favour. This concluded Eubank's career as a middleweight, with a 28-0 record.
WBO Super-Middleweight Champion
A rematch with Watson for the vacant WBO super-middleweight title took place in September 1991, in which Watson suffered a near-fatal injury. Eubank was behind on all scorecards after 10 rounds, and was knocked down 18 seconds from the end of round. He rose from the canvas to unleash a devastating uppercut to Watson's jaw right at the end of the round, returning the knockdown. The bell sounded the end the round as soon as Watson was up from the count. It was still obvious to all observers, and to Eubank himself, that he needed a knockout to win: and early in the 12th with Watson still visibly shaken the fight was stopped with Watson under a flurry of punches from Eubank. Soon after the fight Watson collapsed in his corner. His condition may have been worsened by delay in receiving medical attention: there was no ambulance or paramedic at the event and after eight minutes on the ring floor, Watson was attended by doctors wearing dinner jackets, arriving late. Eubank contemplated quitting the sport. Commentator Reg Gutteridge claimed, in the moment, he had, "never seen a more dramatic end to a world title fight". Eubank later reflected on the aftermath: "I lost my finishing instinct in the ring, I couldn't finish fights any more. However, I needed to work and so I carried on and I won most of my fights on decisions. And I blamed myself, after all, it was me who threw the punch."
Eubank was particularly noted for his confidence, concentration, composure and extravagant behaviour, and antics that included a vault over the top-rope into the ring before each fight. His trademark theme tune was Tina Turner's Simply the Best. It also included often-hilarious posturing (particularly between rounds of fights). Eubank was by now presented as something of a "man you love to hate" figure in the British tabloid press because of her perceived posturing and arrogance and for his singularly unconventional sense of style. In boxing circles he enjoyed even less popularity, having once referred to the sport as a 'mug's game' on national television.
Now the holder of a second title, Eubank relinquished his middleweight title and concentrated on defending his new crown at the higher weight of 12 st. After the Watson tragedy Eubank never again showed any desire to knock opponents out, preferring to retain his title through points victories. He made successful defences against "Sugaryboy" Malinga, the American quartet of John Jarvis, Ron Essett, Tony Thornton and former World Champion Lindell Holmes, as well as Juan Carlos Giminez Ferreyra and a draw with fellow Briton Ray Close.
Eubank vs Benn II
Nigel Benn moved up to super middleweight and became WBC champion. The pair agreed to meet in a WBC/WBO unification rematch. In 1993 the rivals would engage in another contest named 'Judgement Day' watched by a reported 1 billion people and fought an exciting contest, albeit less brutal than their first, to a draw. Don King had negotiated the contracts so that he would own both the winner and the loser of Eubank v Benn 2. Barry Hearn claimed that, as a draw was not written into the contract, Eubank was free to sign a new deal with him instead of Kind. He did, and Benn also did not sign for King, on the same pretext.
Following the Benn fight, Eubank went on to defeat Graciano Rocchigiani of Germany, the undefeated former IBF super-middleweight title holder. After a split points victory over Ray Close, in the King's Hall Belfast, Eubank signed an eight-fight £10-million deal with Sky Sports for contests in South Africa, Manchester, London and Millstreet. Eubank made five further successful defences, beating British world title contenders Henry Wharton and Sam Storey as well as unbeaten Dan Schommer and Mauricio Amaral Costa.
Eubank vs Collins
In March 1995, however, Eubank lost his title to Irishman Steve Collins, by unanimous decision.
Eubank won an eliminator for his old title against Jose Ignacio Barruetabena, as well as a win over Bruno Ruben Godoy. A rematch with Collins took place in Cork, Ireland, and Eubank lost again by a surprisingly narrow split decision. He announced his retirement from the ring in October 1995. He made a quick comeback in 1996, however, defeating Luis Dionisio Barrera and Camilo Alarcon.
Calzaghe vs Eubank
After Steve Collins withdrew from his WBO super-middleweight title defence against Joe Calzaghe and unexpectedly retired in October 1997, Calzaghe was matched against Eubank for the vacant title with eleven days notice. Eubank had been scheduled to box at light-heavyweight on the undercard. Eubank was knocked down twice and lost on points to Calzaghe, but saw his popularity rise as a result of managing to finish the fight against his more fancied opponent.
Eubank then added 20 lbs in weight and challenged Britain's Carl Thompson for the WBO cruiserweight title. Eubank floored Thompson in the fourth round but, as in the first Steve Collins fight, failed to press home his advantage. The fight went the distance, with Thompson's strength and durability eventually telling in the later rounds. Thompson won by unanimous decision, but the closeness of the fight was reflected in the scoring, with two of the three judges giving the fight to Thompson by a single point.
A rematch was quickly arranged for three months later and they again fought for the WBO cruiserweight championship in what turned out to be Eubank's last fight. Eubank had the better of the fight early in the rematch, but the short rest between the bouts came back to haunt him as his left eye that was damaged in the first fight rapidly began to swell. The fight was stopped at the end of the ninth round, when Eubank's left eye closed completely from swelling. At the time he was ahead on the scorecards. It was the only stoppage loss of Eubank's career spanning 3 weight divisions, 30 pounds and 13 years as professional.
Eubank finished his career with a record of 45 wins (23 KOs), 5 losses and 2 draws.
Professional Boxing Record
|Loss||45-5-2||Carl Thompson (UK)||RTD||9||18/7/98||Ponds Forge Arena, Sheffield, United Kingdom|
|Loss||45-4-2||Carl Thompson (UK)||UD||12||18/4/98||Nynex Arena, Manchester, United Kingdom|
|Loss||45-3-2||Joe Calzaghe (UK)||UD||12||11/10/97||Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, United Kingdom|
|Win||45-2-2||Camilio Alarcon (Columbia)||KO||4||27/3/97||Aviation Club Tennis Centre, Dubai, UAE|
|Win||44-2-2||Luis Dionisio Barrera (Argentina)||KO||5||19/10/96||Cairo Stadium Indoor Halls Complex, Cairo, Egypt|
|Loss||43-2-2||Steve Collins (IRE)||SD||12||9/9/95||Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork, Ireland|
|Win||43-1-2||Jose Ignacio Barruetabena||KO||1||29/7/95||Whitley Bay, United Kingdom|
|Win||42-1-2||Bruno Ruben Godoy (Argentina)||TKO||1||27/5/95||King's Hall, Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom|
|Loss||41-1-2||Steve Collins (IRE)||UD||12||18/3/95||Green Glens Arena, Millstreet, Ireland|
|Win||41-0-2||Henry Wharton (UK)||UD||12||10/12/94||G-Mex Leisure Centre, Manchester, United Kingdom|
|Win||40-0-2||Dan Schommer (US)||UD||12||15/10/94||Superbowl, Sun City, North West, South Africa|
|Win||39-0-2||Sam Storey (UK)||TKO||7||27/8/94||Cardiff International Arena, Cardiff, United Kingdom|
|Win||38-0-2||Mauricio Amaral (Brazil)||UD||12||9/7/94||Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||37-0-2||Ray Close (UK)||SD||12||21/5/94||King's Hall, Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom|
|Win||36-0-2||Graciano Rocchigiani (GER)||UD||12||5/2/94||Deutchlandhalle, Charlottenburg, Germany|
|Draw||35-0-2||Nigel Benn (UK)||SD||12||9/10/93||Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, United Kingdom|
|Draw||35-0-1||Ray Close (UK)||SD||12||15/5/93||Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow, United Kingdom|
|Win||35-0||Lindell Holmes (US)||UD||12||20/2/93||Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||34-0||Juan Carlos Gimenez (Paraguay)||UD||12||28/11/92||G-Mex Leisure Centre, Manchester, United Kingdom|
|Win||33-0||Tony Thornton (US)||UD||12||19/9/92||Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow, United Kingdom|
|Win||32-0||Ron Essett (US)||UD||12||27/6/92||Quinta do Lago Hotel, Quinta do Lago, Portugal|
|Win||31-0||John Jarvis (US)||KO||3||25/4/92||G-Mex Leisure Centre, Manchester, United Kingdom|
|Win||30-0||Thulani Malinga (South Africa)||SD||12||1/2/92||National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, United Kingdom|
|Win||29-0||Michael Watson (UK)||TKO||12||21/9/91||White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||28-0||Michael Watson (UK)||MD||12||22/6/91||Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||27-0||Gary Stretch (UK)||TKO||6||18/4/91||Olympia Grand Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||26-0||Dan Sherry (Canada)||TD||10||23/2/91||Brighton Centre, Brighton, United Kingdom|
|Win||25-0||Nigel Benn (UK)||TKO||9||18/11/90||National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, United Kingdom|
|Win||24-0||Reginaldo Dos Santos (Brazil)||KO||1||22/9/90||Albert Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||23-0||Kid Milo (UK)||TKO||8||5/9/90||Brighton Centre, Brighton, United Kingdom|
|Win||22-0||Eduardo Domingo Contreras (Argentina)||UD||12||25/4/90||Brighton Centre, Brighton, United Kingdom|
|Win||21-0||Hugo Antonio Corti||TKO||8||6/3/90||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||20-0||Denys Cronin (UK)||TKO||3||16/1/90||Star Centre, Cardiff, United Kingdom|
|Win||19-0||Jose Carlos Da Silva (Brazil)||KO||6||20/12/89||Kirkby Leisure Centre, Liverpool, United Kingdom|
|Win||18-0||Johnny Melfah (UK)||KO||4||5/11/89||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||17-0||Jean-Noel Camara||TKO||2||24-10-89||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||16-0||Ron Malek (US)||TKO||5||4/10/89||Festival Hall, Basildon, United Kingdom|
|Win||15-0||Les Wisniewski (Canada)||TKO||2||28/6/89||International Centre, Brentwood, Essex, United Kingdom|
|Win||14-0||Randy Smith (US)||PTS||10||26/5/89||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||13-0||Franky Moro (Ghana)||PTS||8||1/3/89||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||12-0||Anthony Logan (Jamaica)||PTS||8||8/2/89||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||11-0||Simon Collins (UK)||TKO||4||31/1/89||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||10-0||Steve Aquilina (Malta)||TKO||4||18/5/88||Guild Hall, Portsmouth, United Kingdom|
|Win||9-0||Greg George (UK)||TKO||5||4/5/88||Grand Hall, Wembley, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||8-0||Michael Justin (UK)||TKO||5||26/4/88||Town Hall, Hove, United Kingdom|
|Win||7-0||Winston Burnett (UK)||PTS||6||7/3/88||Town Hall, Hove, United Kingdom|
|Win||6-0||Darren Parker (UK)||TKO||1||15/2/88||Effingham Park Country Club. Copthorne, West Sussex, United Kingdom|
|Win||5-0||L.J. James Canty (US)||UD||4||25/3/87||Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United Kingdom|
|Win||4-0||Eric Holland (US)||UD||4||25/2/86||Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||3-0||Mike Bagwell (US)||MD||4||8/1/86||Harrah's Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||2-0||Kenny Cannido (US)||UD||4||7/11/85||Atlantis Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||1-0||Tim Brown (US)||UD||4||3/10/85||Sands Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
Career Beyond Boxing
Throughout his successful years and beyond, Eubank developed a reputation for eccentricity. In a poll published by BBC Homes and Antiques magazine in January 2006, Eubank was voted the second most eccentric star (after Bjork). Speaking with a lisp and in affected upper-class tones; dressing as a stereotypically upper-class Englishman (in jodhours, bowler hat and riding boots; sporting a monocle) and carrying a silver-tipped cane, such affectations (along with his perceived arrogance and self-glorifying antics) did little to endear him to the tabloids. However, in 1991 and 1993 he won Britain's Best Dressed Man award, given by the Menswear Association of Great Britain. In 1993 and 1995 he won the Daily Express Best Dressed Sportsman award and in 1998 and 2001, the Gold Tie Pin Award.
His collection of vehicles included a customised Harley Davidson and a huge American Peterbilt 379 truck cab, the largest truck in Europe. At one time he owned the only Hummer in the UK and Ireland.
In the early 1990s, Eubank was caricatured as a puppet on Spitting Image. He featured on the front cover of Esquire for the April 1992 edition. He was mentioned in a scene of I'm Alan Partridge, in which the title character desperately tries to think of ideas for a new television show, one of which is entitled Youth Hosteling with Chris Eubank. He has featured in television advertisements (commercials) for Nescafe, the Royal Mail, McDonald's and Jaffa Cakes, and has modelled for Vivienne Westood and Versace.
He purchased the lord of the manor rights in Brighton at auction in 1996 and used the ancient right of this position to appoint a town crier in addition to the town crier employed by the local authority. In 1994 he took over a prime site in the city, which he called 'Buckingham Place.' He knocked down the interior whilst keeping the grade II facade intact and built 69 flats for the homeless, using £1,250,000 of his own money. The building was later sold for re-development in 2000.
In 1996, Eubank was the guest presenter on Top of the Pops. In 1999, he launched the Dreamcast and in the same year, he appeared in his truck in the music video for the song "Turn Around" by Phats & Small. In 2001, he appeared in the reality television show Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 4, where he was the first celebrity to be evicted. He also had his own show on Talk Radio called Eubank's People. Guests included Linford Christie, John Fashanu, Lennox Lewis and Naseem Hamed.
In 2006, Eubank was sacked by his own public relations advisor, Richard Hillgrove, for being "too eccentric".
After the accident in 1991, Eubank and Michael Watson became friends, with Eubank accompanying Watson for the final mile of the 2003 London Marathon, which Watson, still showing physical damage from the fight and taking more than six days, completed to raise money for charity.
In November 2009, Eubank was declared bankrupt, owing £1.3 million in taxes.
On October 14, 2003, Eubank was intercepted by police whilst driving around Parliament Square, Westminster, in his truck, which displayed the message "TONY BLAIR! MILITARY OCCUPATION CAUSES TERRORISM". He completed a number of circuits before he was arrested. On February 22, 2007, Eubank was arrested outside Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall for a suspected breach of the peace after driving his truck through central London, which was emblazoned with a message condemning Tony Blair for sending Prince Harry to Iraq. The banner read "BLAIR - Don't send our young prince to your catastrophic illegal war, to make it look plausible!" On May 23, 2007, he was charged with making an unlawful anti-war protest after parking his seven-tonne truck outside Downing Street. On November 16 he failed to turn up at court, so an arrest warrant was issued, and he was fined.
In October 2005, Eubank was appointed as the first ambassador for gambling charity GamCare, to support and encourage responsible gambling.
Tailored Suit Designer
Known for his sophisticated and unique sense of style, Eubank won the Britain's Best Dressed Man many times. In 2010, Eubank, once a regular customer, started designing tailored suits for Cad and the Dandy, a Savile Row bespoke tailoring company.
Eubank and his first wife, Karron (married on December 23, 1990 in Brighton), had four children (Christopher, born on September 18, 1989, Sebastian, born on July 16, 1991, Emily, born on April 19, 1994 and Joseph, born on October 23, 1996) and have over the years starred in various television programmes. In 1992, Eubank was involved in a fatal collision when he lost control of his car on the London to Brighton road; the car came off the road and killed a building site worker. He was convicted of driving without due care and attention, fined £250 plus £1,450 costs, and had six penalty points added to his driving license.
In 2001, Eubank was the subject of a Louis Theroux documentary entitled When Louis Met...Chris Eubank, in which Theroux and his camera crew accompany Eubank for a period. In 2003, they invited television cameras to follow their lives for nine months; the resulting show, At Home With The Eubanks, was broadcast on Five. Karron petitioned for divorce from Eubank in August 2005. In 2005, Eubank was convicted of taking a vehicle without consent. He had driven a beer lorry which was being unloaded away from a place where he considered it to be causing an unreasonably obstruction.
In 2014, Eubank married for the second time to his manager Claire Geary.