There in Spirit: Harlem Eubank will think of his cousin as he headlines York Hall – Boxing News

IT was five years ago this month that Seb Eubank took a seat in the York Hall crowd to watch his cousin and best friend Harlem make light work of his fifth career fight.

It was business as usual for Harlem that night, winning five and splitting one of the six rounds against Bulgaria's Angel Emilov to calmly move to 5-0. Later, the cousins ​​and their friends would head down the road to Brick Lane for a celebratory feed.

Being plant-based athletes, Seb and Harlem insisted they avoid the famous corned beef bagels that most of the late night diners were most interested in on that particular street and instead headed to Mooshies, a vegan burger joint.

As they ate they reflected on the struggle and chatted about the future; Seb had enjoyed a winning start to his professional career in Manchester a month earlier and the pair had big plans in the sport. Neither of them knew that would be the last time Seb would ever see his cousin boxed in the flesh.

In July 2021, Seb Eubank, the second son of Chris Sr, died after suffering a heart attack while watching the sunset from the sea in Dubai. Back home in England, Harlem and the rest of the Eubank family would never be the same again.

Since that night at the Mooshies, Harlem has moved to 16-0 and now headlines when he returns to York Hall to face Christian Uruzquieta on Friday night. His late cousin will be front and center again in his mind.

“York Hall was the last place he saw me fight in March 2018,” he says Boxing news. “So now when I fight there I really feel his presence and energy with me.

“Me and Seb both started boxing at the same time, we went down to the amateur gym together. I started late at 18. We trained together and he was one of the big motivators for me.

“Every fight he would text me and fly from the Middle East to come watch my fights and be with me in the locker room. He really gave me that early encouragement. He told me I could really do this.

“He was one of the big driving forces for me. It's hard but I really feel his presence with me going into these fights, especially at York Hall.”

Often the loss of someone close to you, especially in sudden or tragic circumstances, can have a profound effect on your outlook on life. For Eubank, now 29, it goes without saying.

“We don't necessarily know the answers and why things happen when they do,” he adds. “I have strong faith in the creator and sometimes there is a bigger plan.

“Because if you look at it any other way, you just can't understand it. Sometimes we've done everything we came here to do on this physical plane and it's time to move on to the next, we've accomplished our mission so we can go Seeing it that way has helped me process it but many of us are still going through that process now.

“It's crazy when you look back at how it's all gone. But I have a lot of good memories with Seb and that's what I try to focus on and that's what brings me happiness.”

Eubank is speaking on a rare day off from training camp as he prepares for another step up in what he describes as a “slow-burner” or career so far. The next day, the British lightweight champion Gavin Gwynne comes for sparring. Having fought four times in 2022, Eubank has more momentum now than he's ever had.

He has always trod a very different path to Chris Jnr, although aligning himself with his cousin may have opened more doors. That said, Harlem was supposed to box on the undercard of Eubank v Conor Benn but he, along with all the other undercard fighters, was left out of pocket as a result of the clomiphene found in Benn's system by VADA.

Harlem was also there 12 weeks later when Eubank was dropped and stopped by Liam Smith inside four rounds in his first fight since the start of the Benn saga. His cousin knew something wasn't right.

“I was in the dressing room before and I saw the whole incident unfold,” he says. – The energy was different.

“I took some videos as usual and I looked at them and thought this doesn't look good”. The energy in the video didn't look like someone about to walk out into the fire.

“Chris is untouchable, he's untouchable in mindset and the way he prepares, but I didn't see it in him in the dressing room that night. He knows what he has to fix to change it next time.

“He wasn't like I've seen him in the build-up to other fights. He knows deep down that it wasn't a true story about himself. Only he knows the reason behind it.

“A lot of people noticed. Paul Smith, Liam's brother, was in to watch the handshakes and he even said afterwards that he thought Chris looked defeated before the fight in the dressing room. That's not Chris Eubank Jnr. I've never seen him so before but it's all about preparation and only he knows how he prepared for it. But I think in the next fight he will show a truer account of himself.”

It was the worst possible start to what could be a pivotal year in Eubank Jnr's career. Now Harlem is racing to kick off its own 2023 in style. And if all goes according to plan, there will be only one method to celebrate him.

“Well Mooshies closed during lockdown but now they've moved to the Hard Rock Cafe and they're doing a pop-up there so maybe we should go as a tribute,” he adds. “If not, I'll find another place to remember those good nights.

“The loss of Seb is still very real and we deal with it daily. But when I get the chance to celebrate his life I will. He will be with me on Friday.”

#Spirit #Harlem #Eubank #cousin #headlines #York #Hall #Boxing #News

Source link

Leave a Reply