Fresh off his first-round knockout win over Samuel Vargas on April 10th, welterweight contender Conor Benn says he’s planning on returning to the ring in three months to fight in July against an opponent still to be determined.
The names that Benn rattled off after the fight, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, and Adrien Broner, have shown no desire to fight him, unfortunately.
If Benn wants to show that he’s for real, he’ll tell his promoter to set up a fight against Jaron Ennis, Vergil Ortiz Jr, or David Avanesyan. With Avaneysan, 32, Benn can maybe wait him out until he’s older before making the fight, but he can’t do that with Ennis or Ortiz Jr. Those guys are younger than him.
Those are the type of fighters that Benn will be expected to beat if he’s to become a champion at 147.
If Benn wants an upgrade over Vargas, he and his promoter Eddie Hearn will need to make some tough choices.
Benn might not like it, but he’s going to need to pick one of these fighters if he wants an upgrade over Vargas:
- David Avanesyan
- Jaron Ennis
- Vergil Ortiz Jr
- Kell Brook
- Maurice Hooker
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
- Daniyar Yeleussinov
- Rashidi Ellis
- Josesito Lopez
- Jessie Vargas
- Regis Prograis
- Keith Thurman
- Danny Garcia
Hearn would have an easy time getting Yeleussinov or Avanesyan to fight Benn, but those would be risky matches. I’m not certain that Benn is ready for either of those guys.
At this point, it won’t be worth anything for Benn to fight Josh Kelly. He looked awful in losing to Avanesyan by a sixth-round knockout on February 20th.
In Kelly’s last three fights, his record is 1-1-1, and he arguably should have two defeats. His 10 round draw against Ray Robinson in June 2019 was considered a gift in the eyes of many boxing fans.
Benn won’t respect boxing fans if he picks the recently knocked out Sergey Lipinets, Ivan Redkach, or Adrien Broner. Those guys are too shot for Benn to get any credit, and they would arguably be viewed as a step down from Vargas.
The unbeaten Benn (18-0, 12 KOs) unloaded on Vargas (31-7-2, 14 KOs) with a flurry of power shots that surprised the 31-year-old.
Vargas made the worst possible decision to retreat to the ropes and shell up, hoping that Benn would stop throwing long enough for him to get a punch in between. That didn’t happen and referred Michael Alexander had no choice but to stop the fight.
One gets the sense that Benn’s handlers will attempt to turn him into a superstar by sleight of hand with clever matchmaking to avid the talented opposition that could beat him.
It’s one thing for Benn to ramrod his way past journeyman Samuel Vargas, but if he attempts his flurrying business against a good welterweight like Vergil Ortiz Jr or Jaron Ennis, he’ll get knocked into next week.