British legend Nigel Benn, who ruled the world at middleweight and super-middleweight, is sure his son Conor will reach the very top also. Set to have his pro debut soon, as a light-welterweight, Conor is the real deal, Benn insists. Conor, who will carry his father’s “Dark Destroyer” nickname, had just 22 amateur fights but is sure the pro game will suit his fighting style.
Speaking with Sky Sports, former king Benn spoke about the 18-year-old son he is understandably very proud of and has also sparred with.
“He can have it. He can fight,” Nigel stated. “It was an unbelievable four-rounds (of sparring). I’ve got it on tape and when he becomes world champion, I’ll show it. I threw the kitchen sink at him. I threw the lot. He threw it back at me! I don’t want to use the world ‘violent’ but he likes having a good tear-up. He likes to have a war. I can only fight one way but he can box and he can box well. I’ve got respect for boxers like Kell Brook and Amir Khan but I would tell him to go fight them two years down the road. I’m not joking.”
According to Sky Sports, Conor, who now lives in Ilford, Essex (where Nigel once lived) has not yet officially announced who his head trainer will be.
As is the case with any “boxing junior” attempting to follow in the footsteps of a great fighting father, the publicity can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the young fighter gets his name out there fast and reaps the rewards of the fame. On the other hand, the pressure to succeed is that much greater because of the name factor. Nigel Benn certainly does not appear at all nervous his son will fail to emulate his considerable achievements. In fact, the old “Dark Destroyer” says the new “Dark Destroyer” will prove to be an even better fighter than he was.
If Conor is able to bring half as much of the raw excitement Benn gave the paying fans in the 1990s, he will have had some career.