Eddie Hearn recalls bizarre story of Chris Eubank Sr and a picture on a wall
Eddie Hearn recently revealed that a fight between Eubank and former unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin was killed off by an argument over a photo.
Hearn's father, Barry, had represented Eubank Sr. in a successful period throughout the 1990s. And it only seemed natural that the two families linked up once more when Eubank Jr's fledgling career brought him to wider public attention.
Back in 2016, Hearn was negotiating a contract with the Eubanks that would earn the youngster a shot at fearsome puncher Golovkin in England. This lucrative fight would have been big news for British boxing, with odds on the winner already being offered on some of the more established betting sites.
There was a certain sense of familiarity between the Hearns and the Eubanks, as Eubank Sr. had been promoted by Hearn's father, Barry, back in the 1990s. And although the negotiations looked promising, Eubank Sr. wanted a photo in Barry Hearn's office in order to close the deal.
But Hearn was not keen on giving it up.
"So I was trying to do a deal with Chris Eubank Jr. It was me, Chris Eubank Jr and Chris Eubank Sr negotiating a deal. We’d agreed all the terms of the deal," Hearn told BBC5 Live, via Talksport.
"Then Chris Sr looked at me and said, 'Edward, there’s one more thing. In your father’s office is a picture of me punching Nigel Benn. It also has the official scorecards from the fight, you must remove the picture and give it to me. If you do I will sign the deal.'
"So I’m like, 'Okay, I’ve just given you a load of money and everything you want, and now you want a picture off the wall in my Dad’s office?' 'Yes, this is correct.’ I said, 'Okay, sounds alright to me.' Went into my Dad’s office, 'Alright Dad, it was quite painful, but we’ve done the deal. Just one thing, you know that picture over there, can we have that?'
"He said, 'Well what do you mean?' I said, 'Well Eubank said if you give him that picture the deal’s done.' He said, 'Tell Eubank to go and stick it up his behind, that is my favourite picture in the world and there is no way I’m removing that from my wall.' I said, 'It’s only a picture, innit?’ He said, 'No, no, no, son. Not even up for discussion.' So I had to go back and say to him, 'Chris I’m really sorry, we’ve got a deal, but I can’t deliver you the picture."
"He said, 'Then there is no deal because the picture will paint a thousand words and this is part of the deal, a major moment to secure the paperwork.' And I just said, 'Leave me alone, go away.' And we’ve never worked together again. No deal."
Kell Brook, who was the IBF welterweight champion at the time, got the gig against Golovkin. Brook jumped two weight classes to face the dominant middleweight champion, losing by TKO in the fifth round of their bout at London's O2 Arena in September 2016.
Eubank Jr. is believed to be still chasing a fight with Golovkin, who turned 38 in April. Having put away James DeGale and Matt Korobov in 2019, Eubank could see Golovkin as a potential dancing partner four years after losing the opportunity to face him in London.
The 30-year-old signed a three-fight deal with Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions in February 2019, and has satisfied two of the fights on that deal. It is unlikely that the last of those three fights will be Golovkin, however, who is said to be seeking a trilogy bout against Canelo Alvarez next.
Then again, there is a chance that Eubank could land a shot against the Mexican at some point. Having been named as the mandatory challenger to Canelo's WBA middleweight title, Eubank will certainly feel as though the time is right to push for that fight. But it remains to be seen if Canelo sees a fight with the Brit as a viable option.
Canelo knocked out Sergey Kovalev in November to win the WBO light heavyweight title, making him a four-weight world champion in the process. It is still unclear at what weight he will fight at next, but Eubank will be paying attention.