"There aren't enough artists and there aren't enough fighters who can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. I would love to see more of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and would go out of my way to watch him because he's an artist. I've followed him for a long long time. Amir Khan is probably my favourite fighter. I've followed his career closely. I'm a fan of David Haye; he has a great mental attitude and attractive style...Floyd Mayweather for sure. The boxer beats the fighter 85% of the time. He's more accurate. He's more artistic. He uses brain more than brawn. He has better movement with his feet, better movement with his body; he can land from out of range. He can land from a few inches," stated former middleweight and super middleweight world champion Chris Eubank, who shared his thoughts on the current state of boxing and how it compares to his era. Check out what else he had to say about his own career, a potential showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, and much more.
PC: First off, it's an honor to have you on the site. How have you been doing?
CE: It's my pleasure. It's known in the United Kingdom that I've had a share of personal and financial difficullties in the last five or six years, but I'm not bankrupt of fun, life, my dignity, my character, or my essence. I have my wealth of health, and in fact, I have plenty of money too, but money comes and goes.
PC: What have you been up to these days Champ?
CE: I'm involved in fashion design, designing outfits for a tailoring firm based in Mayfair [London]. From being sport's snappiest dresser, of course, I was an ideal candidate for that. I base myself in Dubai now, but spend a lot of my time across Africa building boxing gyms in deprived areas. I have a team of trainers from the United States, including Maximo Pierret from New York, the man who taught me how to box, to teach the deprived youth over there.
PC: Do you still follow boxing closely and if so, who are some of the guys you enjoying watching?
CE: I'm too busy to follow it closely. There aren't enough artists and there aren't enough fighters who can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. I would love to see more of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and would go out of my way to watch him because he's an artist. I've followed him for a long long time. Amir Khan is probably my favourite fighter. I've followed his career closely. I'm a fan of David Haye; he has a great mental attitude and attractive style.
PC: It's been over 13 years since you last laced them up. What do you miss the most about boxing?
CE: Boxing is like a girlfriend. When you leave a girlfriend, you don't want her back because you left her and you did your time with her. She didn't leave you, you left her. If you've achieved in a particular field, you shouldn't miss it most of the time. It's if you didn't achieve that you miss it. If you achieved everything you wanted in a particular field, you wouldn't miss it. And I don't miss it, but I do miss the buzz.
PC: Do you still do any type of training in the Sweet Science or have you completely walked away?
CE: Not regularly, but yes, I'm trying to keep in shape. I'll shadowbox and do bag work. I spar occasionally.
PC: At one point in your career, there were two fights that were heavily discussed that never came to fruition. One of them was a fight against Roy Jones Jr. In wake of him being knocked out by Denis Lebedev on Saturday, would you think it's best that Jones rode off into the sunset?
CE: It's not for me to say, but from a common sense point of view, the sooner the better. A fighter should never try to get a second measure because you will never be able to replicate what you did in your youth. It took me 15 years in boxing to finally get respect; to feel respect. I could never risk losing respect by coming back, personally.
PC: The other fight was against a guy you've had several words with and that's James Toney. What are your thoughts on James?
CE: James Toney, that guy disrespected my mother. Where's the class? Regardless of that, he was a very, very good fighter.
PC: Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is the fight that everyone wants to see. Who do you think would win that fight and why?
CE: Floyd Mayweather for sure. The boxer beats the fighter 85% of the time. He's more accurate. He's more artistic. He uses brain more than brawn. He has better movement with his feet, better movement with his body; he can land from out of range. He can land from a few inches.
PC: Do you think it's fair game for Mayweather to ask his opponents to subject themselves to random drug testing throughout camp?
CE: What I can say is that the innocent can be wrongly accused because my cousin, Diane Modahl, was wrongly accused in the 1990s. There are regulations in boxing that one must adhere to, and while I can understood Mayweather Jr.'s concern, he cannot write his own rules. Pacquaio is a man who, if he's being rightly accused, will not be able to live with himself in years to come unless he has little conscience.
PC: You have had so many memorable fights. Which fight sticks out the most in your mind and why?
CE: The Michael Watson II fight. He just seemed to be a superman on the night and I got battered for eight of eleven rounds. I'd actually given up in the sixth because I knew I couldn't win, but I needed to walk out on my feet and take my beating. I survived because I was beaten into a state of controlled madness. That fight was all about integrity.
I did ask for Watson to be tested in the immediate post-fight interview because I fought him 11 weeks before and he was just a normal man 11 weeks before. I wasn't implying steroids; I was just in awe. I believe it is up there with the top five fights in world history.
PC: Are you pleased with the way your career went? Did you walk away from boxing feeling fulfilled?
CE: 100% yes. After all the records I broke and all the standards I set, there was nothing more for me. I was relentless. A lot of boxing aficionados may not realize, but I began boxing in the South Bronx in New York. It was a way out. That place was a place of nightmares, so I trained like a demon to get out. I became unrelenting and it carried through, when I returned to England and continued my career, through my championship reign. I didn't stop training and fighting.
PC: When you look at a guy like Roy Jones, who just can't seem to walk away, what was it that made you say, "You know what? I've done all I can do in this sport?"
CE: For me personally, it was when the fans cheered me and the press praised me. It took me 10 years in the United Kingdom to get that. It was that acceptance. I had beaten Watson twice. I had beaten Benn, who had just beaten a top two American in a single round. I had beaten Rocchigiani in Germany, who was an undefeated former world champion. I was dropping multiple fighters who had never been dropped. I had attracted the most viewers on television channels. I had attracted the most money from television companies. I had defended my world championship more than any fighter in history in a three or four year period, and still I wasn't accepted. So to finally get it in 1998 was fantastically fulfilling. Regarding Roy Jones, it's not for me to say. What I will say is that I didn't grow up boxing as a young child. I started when I was 16. It didn't consume me, it was something I aimed to conquer. So it's more difficult for me to comprehend the mind of a fighter who grew up with it, which I believe Roy Jones did if I'm not mistaken.
PC: You have a son that is currently on the amateur scene. I know you guys parted ways some years back. Are you currently involved with his career any?
CE: I sent him to America to train because once I saw he was serious, I decided that if he was going to do it, then he would have to do it properly. I got him into the Top Rank gym with Mike McCallum and I got him with Floyd Mayweather Sr., the best trainers out there that I've witnessed training fighters. For young fighters, in fact all fighters, sparring is king; getting the best sparring. If you want to be a good fighter, you need to spar four or five days a week without fail. And the sparring can only be effective if you have sparring partners who get the better of you or who can take your best punches and come back with theirs. Not only is there a much wider pool in the United States, but the sparring is much more intense than in the United Kingdom. If you're a middleweight sparring with lightweights, don't hit them. They'll beat you up. When you're getting beaten up, that's when you're learning. When I was in the South Bronx, I used to spar with a lightweight called Dennis Cruz. He was a fabulous fighter who never made the big time; the most talented I ever saw. That brought me on like nothing could. He would play with me and beat me up, day in day out. Regarding my son, Christopher Jr., I truly believe he is a fighter who can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end in years to come, so watch.
PC: Again, it was an honor and a pleasure having you on the site. If there is anything you ever want to speak about, feel free to contact me and we can get it on the site. Is there anything else you want to say in closing?
CE: I believe there are a lot of fights of mine that many boxing followers on either side of the Atlantic have never seen, but would enjoy to; fights of mine that have an artistic license rarely seen, some of the best knockouts and stoppages. The pre-world championship fights, the post-free television fights. It is a future project to release a DVD and website containing such footage. Watch for it.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]