Chris Eubank Sr. has stated that his son can become better than boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, ahead og the biggest test of his fledging career on Saturday night.
The former British boxing superstar's son Chris Eubank Junior is set to face Billy Joe Saunders at London’s Excel arena for the British, European and Commonwealth middleweight titles.
Saunders starts at the bookies favourite thanks to a tremendous pedigree. He is a former Olympian and since turning pro has won all of his 20 professional bouts, but try telling that to Eubank Sr.
Talented upstart has it all to prove
Eubank Jr is also unbeaten since turning professional in June 2011 and has won all of his 18 fights, with 11 knockout victories, and his father claims that he has not seen anyone this good since the living legend Leonard.
The 48-year old told BBC Sport: “The last person who had his ability was Sugar Ray Leonard. "My son is the most dangerous young man I’ve ever come across in boxing, the most dangerous fighter on the planet.
"I was the benchmark, I was the beacon, I was the one everyone was measured against and I can’t even measure him against me. “I have never seen anything like him, the great British public has a great journey in front of them over the next 10 years.”
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Controversial statement adds pressure
Eubank Sr is one Britain’s greatest ever boxers and his claim that his son can be better than Leonard will cause some controversy in the boxing world.
American Leonard is regarded by many as the greatest of the modern era, after landing gold at the 1976 Olympics, before going on to win five world titles in as many weight divisions.
In a career spanning 20 years, Leonard defeated some of boxing’s greats including, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Wilfred Benitez and Marvin Hagler, but Eubank Sr is not concerned at comparing his son to one of the best.
Domestic grudge has captured the imagination
Eubank Sr told BBC: “Am I putting too much pressure on him by saying he’s as talented as Sugar Ray Leonard? If I don’t say it to him, he will never see it. I have to make him aware that this is what I see, it’s ridiculous the things that he can do.”
Brighton’s Eubank Jr certainly has a lot to live up to, to even compare to his father, yet alone Leonard. His Dad is remembered as a courageous boxer who won world titles in two weight divisions during the 1990s and although Saunders is the favorite for Saturday night, the pressure of living up to expectations firmly rests on the 25-year old’s shoulders.