Conor Benn believes Chris Eubank Jr will fail to make the catchweight agreed for their “family feud” clash at the O2 Arena on Saturday week.
To allow a third chapter to be written in the history of Benn v Eubank – their fathers fought twice in the early 1990s in one of Britain’s greatest boxing rivalries – a 157lbs limit has been put in place.
Eubank Jr faces the gruelling task of dropping down from 160lbs, where he has spent most of his career, while Benn was 146.5lbs when he crushed Chris van Heerden in April.
Failure to make the contracted weight by either fighter next Friday will result in a £100,000 fine for each pound recorded over the limit, but Eubank Jr has made light of the challenge he faces by posting footage on social media of him eating a burger, fried chicken and cake.
“He said he’s a man of his word and a disciplined athlete, but do I see him making the weight? No,” Benn told the PA news agency.
“If he’s disciplined and a true professional then he’ll make the weight, but I just don’t think he has that respect there for an opponent or for me personally.
“I’m willing to fight him anyway, it isn’t a concern to me. But that was the weight we agreed and if he’s a man of his word he’ll come in at that weight.”
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Benn has won all 21 of his professional fights with 14 of them finishing early to place a world title challenge on the radar and he believes his aggressive style will still be effective at the heavier weight.
“I feel powerful. I’ve been sparring super-middleweights, light heavies and cruisers. I feel strong. I love a challenge and I fear no man,” Benn said.
“I’ve had to jump up two weights from welter, but this is the biggest and the best fight out there for me.
“I’m just so in my element and in my zone. There’s no animosity with Eubank Jr, but he’s still a man who stands in my way.
“I haven’t been beaten and that means the world to me. I don’t know defeat. All of my knockouts have come in four rounds, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens, but I always prepare for a hard fight.”
Benn embraces the aim of restoring family pride after his father Nigel was held to a controversial draw by Eubank Sr in their second meeting at Old Trafford in 1993.
Three years earlier he was stopped in the ninth round, but it was the outcome of their second meeting that really hurt, according to promoter Eddie Hearn
“It has been eating Nigel Benn up for 20 years that he didn’t get that decision and Conor wants to put that right,” Hearn said.
With the trilogy fight spanning two generations now beckoning, Conor is in the mood for vengeance.
“This fight has been mentioned for my whole career. It’s such a fantasy fight for the public and the stars have aligned,” he said.
“Most definitely family pride is at stake, it’s a family feud. The fight is as big as it is because of our dads’ original rivalry. I best get the win, I cannot lose.”