Hate Game by Ben Dirs
9781471129032 Simon and Schuster
Chris Eubank, with his jodhpurs and gold-topped cane, who lisped in his posh accent about his distaste for the business of 'pugilism', could not have appeared more different from Nigel Benn, 'The Dark Destroyer', the Essex boy who had battled with his demons to reach the top of the boxing world. Their boxing style was just as contrasting, and it was inevitable that they would have to settle their differences in the ring. Their first bout for the WBO world middleweight title, in Birmingham in November 1990, was a brutal affair, widely held to be one of the all-time great contests.
Eubank emerged victorious over Benn, the people's champion, and immediately fans called for a rematch. But, for three years, the two men circled each other before coming together again in front of over 40,000 fans at Old Trafford and a global TV audience estimated at 500 million. Author Ben Dirs has interviewed the key protagonists to tell a story that gripped the nation and that still resonates today, 20 years on.
It is a tale that reveals the best and the worst of boxing, while rvealing the truth that lay behind the public facade