Eddie Hearn has been sounding really excited about welterweight Conor Benn’s fight this Saturday night against Samuel Vargas on DAZN and Sky from the Copper Box Arena in London, England. The way that Hearn is talking, #11 WBA Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) is heading towards world honors soon.
It’s difficult to imagine Benn stepping up to win a world title now or even in the new few years based on what he showed in his last fight against Sebastian Formell.
What Benn has working for him is he’s got a clever promoter in Hearn, who will scout out an opportunity for him to win a secondary welterweight title like the WBA ‘regular’ strap or one of the specialty trinkets belts that the WBC whips up.
That governing body has so many different straps; it’s almost impossible for Benn not to win one of them.
The only problem is, it would be purely superficial and cosmetic if Benn were to win one of the WBA or WBC’s trinket belts without fighting a real champion to win it.
Saturday’s Benn-Vargas fight will give boxing fans a chance to compare how Conor does against Vargas compared to Vergil Ortiz Jr., Errol Spence Jr, Amir Khan, and Danny Garcia did.
They all beat him decisively, although Khan hit the deck in the second round in their fight in 2019. If Benn can do a better job of beating Vargas than those guys, it will give him and Hearn room to argue that he’s in the same league.
Benn needs to fight better opposition.
It’s good that Benn is being given a slight step up in class against Vargas, but he’s got to do better than this for the fans to know if he’s going anywhere.
We’re not unreasonable here by asking Benn to fight Errol Spence Jr, Shawn Porter, or Terence Crawford. But I think I speak for many fans by saying that we’d like to see Benn fight Vergil Ortiz or Jaron Ennis.
Those guys are roughly the same age as Conor. If he loses to them, at least he’ll learn something from experience.
Conor would obviously be kidding himself, but, predictably, we’ll be hearing him make a big deal if he does a better job of beating Vargas.
One thing that isn’t being discussed is that Vargas isn’t the same fighter who fought Khan, Spence, or Danny. He’s older, and there’s more wear and tear from those hard fights.
So even if Benn can obliterate Vargas straightaway on Saturday, it won’t tell us anything.
Hearn was ecstatic about what he saw in Conor’s recent one-sided 10 round unanimous decision victory over fringe contender Sebastian Formella last November. But that was a weak-punching, lower-level fighter, who arguably shouldn’t have been ranked in the top 15, to begin with.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) April 6, 2021
Beating Formella proved absolutely nothing, as that’s a guy who likely would lose to any British domestic-level welterweights.
Right now, the jury is still out on Conor Benn. He can punch a little, but he’s not shown the type of ability in which you can say that he would beat 22-year-old Vergil Ortiz Jr, Daniyar Yeleussinov, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, or David Avanesyan.
It would be a bad idea for Hearn to let Benn fight any of those guys anytime soon because he’s still fighting at a more elementary level, and those guys have more tools than he’s got in his arsenal.
As it is, Benn, the son of British boxing great Nigel Benn, could have his hands this Saturday against the powerful but flawed Samuel Vargas (31-6-1, 14 KOs).
It’s only 10 rounds, so that’s a good thing for Benn. He needs to be in there with a guy that can punch like Vargas for a full 12 rounds at this early juncture of his career.
Benn is NOTHING like his father Nigel, who was fast, big, powerful, and relentless. Conor isn’t a huge puncher, he’s not big, and he’s not shown the same hand speed or temperament as Nigel.
It’s rare for the sons of famous fighters to share the same type of talent. We’ve seen how Julio Cesar Chavez’s son Julio Jr turned out, and Ricky Hatton’s son, Campbell, hasn’t shown the same ability he had.
Benn vs. Vargas: Where to watch?
Saturday’s Benn vs. Vargas fight can be seen on live DAZN and Sky Sports. The start time for the Benn-Vargas fight is at 2:00 p.m. ET. Boxing 247 will be doing live updates.
Tim Tszyu might have the ability to somewhat follow his famous dad Kostya in the footsteps, but he’s nowhere near the same puncher.
Sometimes greatness skips a generation, and the gifts are bestowed on the grandchildren of great fighters.