In a lightning-quick stoppage by referee Michael Alexander, Conor Benn (18-0, 12 KOs) scored a bizarre first-round knockout of the seemingly fine Samuel Vargas (31-7-2, 14 KOs) on Saturday night at the Copper Box Arena in London, England.
The 24-year-old Benn jumped on Vargas and just started throwing nonstop punches, many of which landed but didn’t have him hurt. The referee then stepped in and shockingly stopped the contest despite Vargas looking perfectly fine.
It was so sudden the way the fight was stopped, it was alarming and completely disappointing. Not surprisingly, Vargas was upset at the fast stoppage, but there was nothing he could do. The referee had acted.
It wasn’t a good thing for Benn because now he didn’t a chance to win the fight without controversy. Who knows? Benn might have outright stopped Vargas if the fight had been allowed to continue, but we’ll never know because the referee chose to halt the fight prematurely. Oh well, another great fight ruined by a referee.
- In an overpowering performance, female WBO middleweight champ Savannah Marshall (10-0, 8 KOs) obliterated an overmatched Maria Lindberg (19-7-2, 10 Kos) in stopping her in the third round. Lindberg hit the deck the second and third rounds. The fight was halted after Marshall dropped Lindberg in the third. The time of the stoppage was 1:11.
- Shannon Courtenay (7-1, 3 KOs) used pressure to get the better of Ebanie Bridges (5-1, 2 KOs) in winning a 10 round unanimous decision to win the vacant WBA women’s bantamweight world title. The scores were 97-94, 98-92, 98-92. It was a little disturbing to see the wide scores by two of the judges in a fight that appeared to be razor-close at the end, but oh well. Courtenay was the A-side, so it wasn’t all that surprising that we saw two of the judges score it wide for her. They did get the pick right, but the scores were from fantasyland. Courtenay looked like the better fighter, but she wasn’t spectacular.
- Bantamweight Kash Farooq (15-1, 6 KOs) defeated Alexander Espinoza (20-3-2, 8 KOs) by a 10 round decision to claim the WBC international silver strap Scores were 97-93, 97-95, 97-94.
- Heavyweight prospect Nick Campbell (1-0, 1 KOs) beat Petr Frohlich (2-31-1, 1 KO) by a second-round knockout.
Welterweight contender Conor Benn will be taking his biggest test as a pro tonight against Samuel Vargas in a crucial 10 round fight on DAZN and Sky Sports from the Copper Box Arena in London, England.
This fight will show whether Benn has a future as a contender or not. It’s a big stretch on whether Benn, 24, has the ability to one day win a world title, but what we can learn is if he can be a contender in the 147-lb division.
If Benn wins, he could take on Amir Khan or Kell Brook next. Those would be tough cookies for Benn, but he might be good enough to beat them.
Boxing 247 will be giving live updates on the action below:
The jury is out as far as whether Benn has the ability to go far in the 147-lb division.
We know he can beat fringe-level fighters like Sebastian Formella, as we saw that the last time he fought. But with that said, Benn looks to be levels below the progress of the younger 22-year-old Vergil Ortiz Jr or the 23-year-old Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.
Although you can say that Benn is young and he’s still improving, but he’s trailing guys that are younger than him. You don’t get the sense that Benn is going to be able to catch up to where Ortiz and Ennis are both at no matter how much work he puts in.