British middleweight/super-middleweight warrior Nigel Benn lit up the sport in the 1980s and ’90s, with “The Dark Destroyer” thrilling millions of fans with his ring heroics, his raw power and his love of “having a tear-up.” Benn prided himself on giving the paying fans value for money. Win, lose or draw, Benn was guaranteed excitement. Now, carrying on the family tradition, Nigel’s son Conor says his main goal is to provide excitement every time he steps into the ring.
Currently 18-0(12), the 24-year-old welterweight contender spoke with Talk Sport, and Benn said he’d rather lose an exciting fight than win a boring one. Benn pointed to his father’s losses to Chris Eubank, Michael Watson and Steve Collins, before asking, who of these fighters do we best remember?
“I’d rather lose a fight and go out on my shield and give it everything I’ve got, than win a boring fight,” Benn said ahead of tomorrow night’s potential war with Adrian Granados. “My dad lost to Chris Eubank, Steve Collins and Michael Watson. Who do you remember the most out of the three? He lost to all of them. He gave everything, he fought with his heart on his sleeve. I ain’t gonna win every battle. I ain’t always gonna have good nights in the office. But I go down swinging. That’s my approach. Value for money.”
Benn’s honesty is refreshing. Yes, all fighters want to win, but here is a young fighter with an enormous future, telling us fans that he really is fighting for us, to give us value for money. How can you not like Benn and his attitude? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as the saying goes. Conor has a way to go yet before he reaches the almost electric levels of high-octane excitement Nigel Benn gave us over the years – his never-to-be-forgotten epics with Gerald McClellan, Iran Barkley, Eubank I and II and a number of others truly being special.
But Conor is on his way. A stoppage win over Granados, 21-8-3(15) would be very impressive, but a tough, at times thrilling distance fight looks more likely. Benn needs to win tomorrow if he’s to go on to fight for a world title the way his dad did so many times. But Conor’s main priority is sending us fight fans home happy. It’s tough not to root for Benn.