Tonight in Manchester, welterweight contender Conor Benn scored a scorching second-round KO over a game and experienced Chris Van Heerden.
Benn, looking lethal from the opening bell, blasted the South African southpaw with his vicious right hand in round two, landing the blow again and again, with Van Heerden falling and being totally unable to get back up.
Time was :56 of round two and it could be argued how Benn put on his finest performance thus far in his pro career.
Benn, who says he will be world champion before the year is out, is now 21-0(14). Van Heerden, who dedicated tonight’s fight to his late father, falls to 28-2-1-1 no-contest (12).
It was a competitive opening round, with the 34-year-old visiting fighter having some moments of success as he countered Benn’s attacks, the action fought at a red-hot pace. But then, in the second, Benn showed how dangerous he really is. Benn’s right hand landed flush and Van Heerden was in bad shape. The follow-up blows were simply too much and Van Heerden was demolished.
At age 25, Benn has shown he is ready for the elite at 147 pounds. Benn welcomed Amir Khan into the ring tonight, but in truth, no one wants to or needs to see that fight. Eddie Hearn spoke of Benn perhaps facing a name like Keith Thurman or David Avanesyan next, while there is still talk of a Benn – Kell Brook fight.
Hearn says Benn is a “superstar” and he sure looked like one tonight. Van Heerden came to fight but he was annihilated by a starving hungry, hugely talented young fighter who may well be the best welterweight contender out there today, this in a talent-rich division. Benn’s speed is as impressive as his power, while he was deadly accurate with his shots tonight.
Benn is of course following some big shoes with his father, Nigel Benn, having been a genuine great. But the next generation is carving out a name all of his own. Benn has now scored two impressive KO’s back to back. And there will be more to come.