IAN HART: The epitome of a pushy parent?

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

Anyone who is a parent will testify that it is not an easy job. And it doesn’t end when the youngsters reach adulthood.

Every level-headed parent wants what’s best for their children. Through my own experience, it may at the time not be necessarily what the youngster wants, but ultimately whatever is done is done with the best intentions.

Chris Eubank was a British sporting icon. His glittering boxing career saw him become a world champion and take part in some of the most exciting contests of his era. He’s no shrinking violet – a media man’s dream, he’s got a quote for absolutely everything and in the past he’d turn up to the opening of an envelope.

His oldest son, Chris Jr, has followed his father into the professional ranks and last weekend took part in a high-profile world title fight with George Groves in Manchester.

In the lead-up to the contest – and in fact, for the last couple of years – Eubank Sr made a number of rash, almost unsubstantiated statements regarding his son’s ability. Again, all great copy for the boxing scribes and it shifts a large number of tickets. But it all leaves many with an uncomfortable feeling.

Politely, many think Chris Eubank Jr is boxing’s version of the emperor’s new clothes and his father has built him up into something he isn’t. On the way they’ve picked up a meaningless version of a world title but also managed to ostracise themselves from major promoters.

I deliberately wrote this in my general column rather than one at the back of the paper because it’s more than just sport. I wonder if in his quieter moments Chris Jr sits there and questions what his father has actually done. Whatever people’s opinions of both Sr and Jr are, the fallout from the weekend wasn’t pleasant, but was the route of it all a father’s ego?

Or, as I touched on earlier, is it all being done by a caring father who has nothing but the best of intentions for his already successful son?

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