Early lifeChristopher Livingstone Eubanks, is one of the sons of Rachel Scollins (later opting to remove the 's' from his surname) was born on 8 August 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; largely impoverished.
He attended 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, however he was in fact one of the biggest bullies in the school causing a lot of upset to other pupils, he was even known to threaten female teachers. He was also well known for shoplifting in the local area. He then attended Peckham Manor School, from where he was suspended five times in four weeks and then expelled. He was then put into care and spent time in various institutions under the care of Social Services. 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.
Boxing careerEubank made a fresh start in New York, beating 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 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 championEubank 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 championA 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 halfway through the 11th, seemingly on the way to defeat: but 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 to 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 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" anthem. 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 his 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 "Sugarboy" 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.
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 King. 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.
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. In a rematch with Steve Collins, Eubank went to Collins's back yard in Cork, Ireland, and 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 EubankAfter 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 the much faster Welshman
CruiserweightEubank 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.
Eubank finished his career with a record of 45 wins (23 KOs), 5 losses, and 2 draws.