Chris Eubank breaks down and weeps remembering the fight that almost killed his opponent Michael Watson – moments before his former rival surprises him to say ‘I love you Chris. Let’s move on’.
The pair were reunited as Eubank, 54, discusses the boxing match 30 years ago that saw Watson put into a 40-day coma and blinded, wheelchair-bound and at first unable to talk.
Watson had been left with the brain injury after Eubank delivered an uppercut in the ring, causing him to fall back and hit the back of his head against the ropes
He made an incredible recovery after six operations to treat a blood clot that had former on his brain.
Watson stunned audience members watching Piers Morgan’s Life Stories on Eubank as he appeared on the show, which airs tonight.
Piers asked the boxer his memories of the night, telling him: ‘An incredibly difficult moment for you, for Michael, to the sport, for everyone involved. What are your memories of that night?’
Piers Morgan and Chris Eubank on tonight’s show discuss his career and any regrets he has
The incredible scene features Eubank and Watson talking about how they have to move on
Watson spoke to Eubank from the audience after he started talking about the tragic fight
Eubank replies, before starting crying: ‘You know, I don’t, I don’t really know whether I can even still make sense of what happened. You know, him having to go through what he’s gone through and to still be here and it’s you know, I can’t you know, I can’t tell you how sorry.
‘I can’t tell you how sorry I… It’s the only thing I regret in my career and really….’
Watson, who is in the audience, then calls out to him to try and console him.
He shouts over : ‘Let’s move on Chris, it’s all right, it’s OK brov. Let’s move on in life. Peace and love. I love you Chris. It’s all in the past, let’s move on in life Chris. We’re here together. Let’s live n love. I love you Chris. Let’s move on. We are born warriors, we are real. God bless you Chris.’
Former boxer Michael Watson outside Snaresbrook Crown Court in London back in 2018
Boxer Chris Eubank pictured before his WBO middleweight title clash against Michael Watson
Extraordinary moment Watson tells Eubank he loves him and they can move on from fight
Chris Eubank I can’t tell you how sorry I… [CRIES]
Chris Eubank It’s the only thing I regret in my career and really….
Michael Watson [from the audience] Let’s move on Chris, it’s all right, it’s OK brov. Let’s move on in life. Peace and love. I love you Chris. It’s all in the past, let’s move on in life Chris. We’re here together. Let’s live n love. I love you Chris. Let’s move on. We are born warriors, we are real. God bless you Chris.
Piers Morgan How much does it mean to you to have Michael, and thank you [Michael] so much for coming. I greatly appreciate that.
Michael Watson Absolute pleasure.
Piers Morgan For you Chris, I mean, to have the man come to your life story show as a mark of respect for you. That’s an extraordinary thing.
Chris Eubank Yeah, it’s been an extraordinary, you know, extraordinary events over the years.
Piers Morgan I’ve not seen this side of you. And it’s very powerful and it’s very real. And it shows just how much it affected you and how much you still care about what happened.
Piers Morgan [addressing Michael Watson in the audience] Michael. There’ll be people watching this who will be amazed that you’re here. What do you feel about Chris now that we are where we are so much further down the line?
Michael Watson This could have happened to anyone. It was a sheer accident.
Piers Morgan Did you always feel as forgiving towards him?
Michael Watson I’ve been brought up… I’m not a hater, I’m a lover. I’m loving soul.
Piers Morgan And why was it important for you to be here today?
Michael Watson Because I want to be a part of the story. Simple as.
Chris Eubank Well, Michael, you are the story, you are the story.
Piers Morgan It did change boxing. There was a huge debate into safety, new regulations were brought in, neurological hospital had to be within 10 minutes of the arena. Ambulance and paramedics on site, increased stewarding.
Chris Eubank Yeah, many, many fighters have survived and are able bodied because of what happened that night to Michael.
Piers then asks Eubank how it feels for Watson to have said that to him, which he tells him has been ‘extraordinary’.
Speaking then to Watson, Piers asks him how he feels about what happened.
Watson replies: ‘This could have happened to anyone. It was a sheer accident.
‘I’ve been brought up… I’m not a hater, I’m a lover. I’m loving soul.’
Eubank agreed that the fight changed regulations in boxing to make sure something like it could never happen again.
He added: ‘Many, many fighters have survived and are able bodied because of what happened that night to Michael.
‘You are a standard bearer. As soon as you start fighting in that ring or on that mat, you know, you’ve got the world looking at you because the first instinct of a man is to protect.
‘That is to fight. Now, can you be a gentleman while you’re doing it? Can you do it truly? Can you go beyond?
‘You can’t win a fight, so do you quit because you can’t win or do you go on taking that beating? And if you can go on taking that beating, what you’re doing for the public, you are you are lifting their spirits.
‘And there’s no better vocation, lifting the spirits of others. You know, whatever your predicament, whatever situation you’re in, you can rise. And that’s what we do.’
Eubank has previously admitted he was close to quitting the sport after the fight.
Watson has shown his fighting spirit over the years in battling back to today but has had some further struggles over the years.
In 2017 two carjackers who dragged disabled him 150 yards along the road and sprayed ammonia in his carer’s eyes were brought to courtt.
Watson was caught in his passenger side seat belt as the thugs tried to steal his car near his home in Chingford, east London.
The boxing hero, known in his heyday as ‘The People’s Champion’, was attacked with best friend and carer Lennard Ballack, who was heard screaming in agony after being doused with ammonia.
They both spent two nights in hospital and Mr Watson was left with cuts and abrasions, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
Simon Luck, 28, and Paul Samuels, 31, were convicted by a jury of robbing Mr Watson and squirting ammonia in Mr Ballack’s face.
They were also found guilty of carrying out another carjacking a fortnight earlier, along with 23-year-old Anselm Legemah.
Mr Watson confessed it was a ‘miracle’ that he was still alive after three men were found guilty of the attack this week.
In an interview with the Sunday People, at the time he said: ‘It’s more of a miracle I survived this carjacking than the fact I survived the Chris Eubank fight.
‘I’ve been critically ill and had six operations on my head and been through so much trauma.
After the win Eubank celebrated in the ring unaware that Watson had been seriously hurt
What happened in Eubank vs Watson?
The fight was a rematch which took place on September 21, 1991, at White Hart Lane.
Watson had outboxed Eubank and was ahead on points and had knocked him to the ground in the 11th round.
Only 18 seconds were remaining but he jumped back on his feet and went towards Watson.
He landed a powerful uppercut which threw him backwards, smashing his head against the ropes.
The referee ended the fight and Eubank celebrated the win, unaware of the damage until Watson collapsed.
There was no medical facilities ringside so he had to be treated by a BBBC doctor and medics watching the bout before he was transferred to hospital.
‘But coming back from this attack has been my hardest fight – tougher than all of my world title fights put together.’
The episode of Life Stories also touched upon the end of Eubank’s marriage to Karron Stephen-Martin.
She divorced him in 2005 after allegations of cheating with other women, speaking in 2015 about her life with the boxer to The Sun.
Karron said at the time: ‘Chris Eubank lives on another planet — Planet Eubank! He needs to be adored and loved.
‘He was deeply distressed about Michael Watson.
‘There was talk of Chris quitting the ring. He thought a lot about the dangers he was facing himself.’
Speaking to Piers, Eubank seemed reluctant to be drawn on what had and what had not happened in terms of his fildelity during his first mariage.
He says on the programme on the moment she left him: ‘I didn’t believe it.
‘When she said she wanted a divorce. I said, you can’t be serious. She said, Yeah.
‘I said, OK. But I didn’t believe it. And I think it was about a year and a half later we were divorced.
‘I was a great husband. I always came home to my wife.
I’m not going to talk of my past regrets.’