December 2nd, 2003 – by Alex McGreevy, Sunday People
Former WBO super-middleweight champion Chris Eubank wants to create a union for Irish boxers that will honour their achievements in the ring. Brighton-based Eubank has already spoken with his “contacts” in Northern Ireland and intends to talk to promoters and celebrities throughout Ireland in forthcoming weeks.
The man who fought three Irish fighters during his reign as world champ, eventually losing to Dubliner Steve Collins, revealed his plans following his ‘patching up’ chat with SP columnist Sam Storey, who was angered by Eubank’s view of their 1994 title showdown in his recently published autobiography. Eubank recalled their fight, saying: “On August 27 I took on Irishman Sam Storey at Cardiff Arms Park. This fight saw me stop my opponent for the first time in 30 months, when his corner threw in the towel in the seventh.”
“He had gone down in the earlier round and hurt his ankle but I think psychologically he had too much fear to fight me. I went into the ring, we were both being cagey then I jolted towards him and he reeled in horror. I knew then that his game was up. I was much stronger than him so I just powered him out of there.”
Storey responded by challenging Eubank to a return match, with the Belfast man offering to make a comeback at the age of 40. As revealed in last week’s SP, Eubank contacted Storey and apologised for upsetting his former opponent, whom he defeated in Cardiff Arms Park. Their conversation left Eubank determined to form a union for boxers in Ireland and the UK, offering testimonials in recognition of careers.
“Since talking to Sam Storey about boxers in Ireland, I want to set up a
union that will help those who are no longer fighting,” said Eubank. “We discussed many aspects of Irish boxing and its fighters. The sport is
very important to the Irish people and the boxers provide them with
great memories, entertainment and inspiration. So there should be an organisation that allows the people to honour their fighters.”
“I have already talked with a number of my contacts and I am determined to set up testimonials, firstly for Irish boxers and then extend this idea tothe UK.” One of Eubank’s contacts in Northern Ireland, Colin Angus, believes boxing testimonials are needed in Ireland. Angus, owner of Canine Design and chairman of the successful Aids 2000 charity, said: “Chris called a number of times to discuss running testimonials for Irish boxers. It’s a great idea and will be good for recognition for the sport. I plan to speak to him again soon and aim to get things going in the New
Eubank added: “We will set up an infrastructure that will recognise boxers. We can offer money to fighters who need it and use funds to protect boxers who have fallen down outside the ring. We need to put together a movement that will spread throughout Ireland and the UK.
“We have entertained the people and it is right that the people honour boxers. We are noble men, most of who do not earn in life after fighting. We have a duty to set this up and it will be done.”