"It works against his achievements" - Chris Eubank talks Mike Tyson, the Steve Collins fights and virtues

Off The Ball's Adrian Barry caught up with the flamboyant boxer when he was in Dublin

Chris Eubank, Ireland, Adrian Barry, Newstalk

Adrian Barry and Chris Eubank

"I guess it's always mattered because I was impoverished of respect when I was a kid."

That was Chris Eubank's words to Off The Ball's Adrian Barry as he shared an insight into his yearning to be noticed as a person.

The former British boxer famed for his flamboyant approach to life and as he was in Dublin last week, the 49-year-old dropped into Newstalk to discuss his difficult early life and the transformation into a character who prizes a level of outward exuberance and the art of being a gentleman. 

"How do you get noticed? How do you get your piece of the pie? The piece I wanted wasn't so much, it was respect. I wanted what money couldn't buy," said Eubank, who was expelled from secondary school before being sent to live with his mother in the US by his father in 1982.

"I set about developing all of these virtues which make you rich without having money."

In all, Eubank told Adrian that there "11 virtues that make you rich", including manners, morals, courage and common sense which he sought to develop.


Steve Collins and Chris Eubank exchange punches in 1995 © INPHO / Billy Stickland

Expanding on that point about the importance of virtues in and out of the ring, the example of Mike Tyson came up.

"Mike Tyson was a force of nature. When he was fighting, it didn't matter what was happening on earth. That was the most important thing. You had to see the fight, it was compulsive viewing. He was compulsive viewing because he was the real thing. He was a force of nature," said Eubank.

"As good as he was - and still we love him - in spite of all the unfortunate things that he has done to himself, no one else did it to him. He did it to himself. Look at how he has compromised himself with the people. The people still love him, authority doesn't. You can win all the echelons, all the demographics of people. But if your conduct is untoward - so his bad language - it works against his achievements." 

He also added that Tyson's past transgressions have "compromised" him in the eyes of others.

Twenty one years on, Eubank also looked back at the 1995 defeats to Steve Collins, including the St Patrick's week fight in Cork.

He told Adrian that he has no regrets about the defeat and admitted that he got "out-gamed psychologically at that point", while he also highlighted how the victory over Nigel Benn at the age of 24 in 1990 helped him tone down aspects of his personality.

You can listen to the full interview via the podcast player.