Chris Van Heerden says he’s “suspicious” that Conor Benn was using performance-enhancing drugs when he scored a second round knockout of him last April.
The South African Van Heerden says he fought Errol Spence Jr and Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, and neither of those fighters put him down. However, when he fought Benn, he was buzzed and dropped by him. He questions whether Benn was using during their fight.
Van Heerden says there was no testing by VADA during training camp for the Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) fight, and that was just a simple urine test after the contest.
Earlier today, it was revealed that Benn had tested positive for the banned substance clomifene from a VADA test last August. Thus far, Benn’s scheduled fight for this Saturday night against Chris Eubank Jr is still going ahead despite the positive test.
According to Benn’s promoter, the British Boxing Board of Control follows UKAD’s testing rather than VADA. It’s unknown why VADA was also testing if the results weren’t going to be acknowledged.
Hearn says Benn hasn’t been charged with a rule violation and isn’t suspended. However, the BBBoF won’t be sanctioning the fight, and it’s possible that they could use the Luxemburg Boxing Commission for the fight.
“It hurts because it’s an occupation where someone can die,” said Chris Van Heerden to Fight Hub TV about Conor Benn testing positive for a banned substance.
“No,” said Van Heerden when asked if the Eubank Jr vs. Benn fight should still happen. “We’re in an occupation where two people go to work at night, and one of them might not come out alive. Fighters die.
“If you’re not going to play fair, why risk that? So, no. I feel that we need to be more strict to that when a fighter does cheat, we need to be more harsher. I feel like fighters get off way too easily.
“I feel like someone needs to set an example. This is the price you’re going to pay for cheating. They need to have a three-year ban or a lifetime ban. I know it’s harsh. You could potentially kill someone and take their life.
“To have someone cheat and use something to beat you, I’m okay. I’m not a sore loser. I’m okay to lose to someone that has beaten me fair & square. But to lose to someone that potentially cheated, that hurts you. You question a lot of things.
“I fought Errol Spence, and Errol Spence hit me a lot and didn’t wobble me once. I fought [Jaron Boots] Ennis, even though it went one round. I got caught by Ennis; I didn’t go down.
“I’ve fought big punchers in my career, and I’ve never ever been dropped. Then I fight Conor Benn, and he hits me, and I’m buzzed and out of it. It hurt my career. The loss to Conor Benn, it does hurt my career.
“Hopefully, this will put a little light on my career and say, ‘Hey, do you know what? Who knows?’ I’m disappointed. I don’t know if it’s true or what. I don’t believe a test on a B-sample ever changes. I believe it’s always the same.
“Very rarely does a B-sample come back with a different result? It sucks for boxing. He put me down,” said Van Heerden about him being dropped by Benn, but not Errol Spence Jr or Jaron Ennis.
“Now that you look at it, and he tested positive. The guy’s confidence, where does he get that confidence? His confidence is through the roof. Yes, he’s a hard worker, but anybody can be a hard worker when they use substances to promote that.
“I now question it, and I why I got hit with Conor, and I’m out of it. I can’t help but bring up the question. We did not get VADA tested before the fight.
“We did take a urine sample afterward, but we did not do any testing before the fight. Urine after the fight, a simple urine test, but there was no testing before or even in training camp. I had no testing.
“I go in clean, and you think whoever your fighting go in with the same mentality, and they play fair. How does one look past this? I can’t help but bring up the question, ‘Did I lose fairly? Did I lose to the better guy? Did I lose to a guy that was fair on the night? I’m suspicious.
“It’s fight week. I can understand Eubank wanting the fight to go on. If I was in this situation, 100%, I would say, ‘Let the fight go on. I’m hungry; I want to fight. Let this fight go on, and then we’ll deal with this matter afterward.’
“But then again, we’re putting so much pressure on the boxing board because if something goes wrong in the fight and somebody gets really badly hurt, all the fingers point to the commission. ‘You guys let this go on.’
“I understand why the commission wouldn’t want this to go on,” said Van Heerden.