Conor Benn, who tested positive for an illegal substance in two drugs tests last year, has been through a “year-and-a-half of hell,” according to his promoter Eddie Hearn. Now, although Benn has been cleared by UKAD, there is a chance the British Boxing Board of Control will launch an appeal. This has angered Hearn – who has stood by Benn and is as adamant as his fighter that there was no wrongdoing – and he has said there is an “agenda” against Benn.
Hearn, though, is making plans for Benn’s ring return, and he told Talk Sport about these plans.
“He wants the biggest fight out there because he has been through a year and a half of hell with no fight,” Hearn said of the unbeaten Benn. “Like every young fighter, he wants the biggest fight out there. What I would say that after 17 to 17 months out of the ring, you are in a situation where you could be rusty. So I would like him to have a fight in September and have his big fight in December. Whether that is against Kell Brook, whether that is against Chris Eubank Jr, whether that is Josh Taylor, there are loads of fights out there for him. I want to get him in the ring.”
Hearn, who has said numerous times that he wants to stage Benn’s big fights in the UK, will be waiting to see what the folks at the BBB of C now do with regards to either appealing UKAD’s decision on the Benn case or not doing so. As far as fights against the three names Hearn listed, the Eubank Jr fights seems unlikely for this year, as Eubank will box his return fight with Liam Smith in September. Would three months be enough time to hype (or re-hype) that fight (and this is assuming Eubank gets revenge over Smith, which is no sure thing by any means)?
Since his ban from the sport, we’ve heard talk of Benn possibly fighting Manny Pacquiao, Tank Davis, Brook, and others. When Benn does make his ring return, it will be a big deal, what with all the controversy that has gone on since the two failed drugs tests. But whether you feel Benn is a good guy or a bad guy, you have to agree that Hearn has stuck by him all these months.
What do YOU guys think – would it be unfair of the BBB of C to launch an appeal regarding Benn being cleared by UKAD?