Former world champion Nigel Benn has given old foe Chris Eubank a deadline to agree to a third fight.
Benn (42-5-1-KO35) was involved in two classic encounters with Eubank (45-5-2-KO23) in 1990 and 1993 – fights which ended in a ninth-round stoppage win for Eubank and a controversial draw.
Despite being 52, Benn has told Sky Sports he is in “the shape of my life” to record a victory over the 49-year-old Eubank, insisting the ball is now firmly in the Brighton man’s court.
Benn said: “We’ve only got a period of, I would say, another two or three months before the door is going to shut. He can’t keep playing these games he likes doing. It’s just one of those things that’ll happen or won’t happen.
“If Eubank happens, it’s a bonus. If it doesn’t, I’m not going to lose sleep. All I really want to do is fight ‘Numpty’ but I’m not going to play his games. I know I’d be in the best shape of my life, to tell you the truth. I’m happy about that – I really am.
“We’ve been discussing the first fight. It’s hard work. The first fight was much better than the second. In the second, he wore his shorts right up by his chest. I don’t know how they deducted a point. I had that in the bank but a draw’s better than a loss. It’s neither here nor there.
“I still think the first fight is much better. I didn’t know how strong he was and I didn’t know how much of a good chin he had. Great fight, the first one. I like being in a fight. That was right up my street. He got the result because he prepared like the champion.”
I was inducted into the Hall of Fame, voted the best super-middleweight in history by the WBC on 20 fags a day – I’m more fit now than I’ve ever been.
Benn, who trains in Australia under Rodney Williams, is vehement with his claim to be in better health than he was when he held WBO middleweight and WBC super-middleweight titles.
He added: “I am in better shape now than I’ve ever been. I was inducted into the Hall of Fame, voted the best super-middleweight in history by the WBC on 20 fags a day. What do you think I can do now? I train harder now than I ever did. Sometimes I do 12-16 rounds on the pads with 30 seconds rest, at pace. I’m enjoying it because I’m not stressed.
“If I tell you I’m fitter, please believe me. Nobody believed me when I said I’d beat Gerald McClellan. If I told you that then, I’m telling you this now – I’m more fit now than I’ve ever been in my whole life. The trainer I have now is unbelievable.
“This trainer teaches me to punch differently with angles. I’ve never experienced that. When I first started off I did six rounds and wanted to do the others next week. He got me into doing ground work, floor work and throwing different punches. It’s stuff I’d never seen in my whole life.
“We’ve been talking about this for the last two or three years. I didn’t want it before. I said no because I had the same mindset. As soon as I met this trainer, I’ve just changed drastically.”
Benn has not fought since 1996, when he lost a split decision to Thulani Malinga before twice being stopped by Steve Collins. Eubank also lost his last three bouts – outpointed by Joe Calzaghe before back-to-back defeats to Carl Thompson in 1998.