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09/10/2013 12:10, Report by Steve Bartram
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Boxing's big night at OT

In perhaps the most dramatic non-footballing event to be held at Old Trafford, boxing enemies Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank met in M16 on 9 October 1993...

The Background:

After years of sniping between the two camps, WBO world middleweight champion Benn met challenger Eubank in November 1990 at Birmingham's NEC arena. Eubank took the title with a ninth-round stoppage and, as the bad blood between the pair continued to simmer, one of boxing's most eagerly-awaited rematches was arranged almost three years later at Old Trafford.

The Occasion: Benn had, by now, won the WBC championship, so the bout became a unification fight. Although it was a cagier affair than their first clash, it was a slow burner cheered on by 42,000 vociferous spectators inside United's stadium. By the end of the final round, with the fight poised on a knife-edge, both fighters sought to land a knockout blow as punches rained in from all angles. Neither landed the telling blow, and the judges' scores reflected just how close the fight had been - 115-113 in favour of Eubank, 114-113 in favour of Benn and 114-114. A draw was declared, both men kept their belts and one of boxing's truest enmities had ended in stalemate.

The Aftermath: Both Benn and Eubank retired after suffering defeats to Irish boxer Steve Collins, although Eubank resurfaced before hanging up his gloves permanently in 1998. Old Trafford, meanwhile, continues to host non-football events. Just a year after the Benn-Eubank fight, the far gentler fare of BBC TV's religious programme Songs of Praise was staged in M16, and has been followed by other concerts featuring acts as big as Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Genesis. OT also hosts rugby's Super League final in October every year - in last Saturday's showpiece, Wigan Warriors beat Warrington Wolves 30-16.

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