As fans who have been following the still-not-over-with Chris Eubank Jr-Conor Benn situation know, the battle now – as far as promoters Eddie Hearn and Kalle Sauerland are concerned – is to keep the fight on.
In a nutshell: Benn’s VADA test came up positive for an illegal substance, yet Benn has passed all tests done by UKAD. Though the British Boxing Board of Control adheres to UKAD testing, the statement from the Board says the fight will not be approved by them on Saturday.
Benn says he has “not committed any violations, I’ve not been suspended, so as far as I’m concerned the fight is going ahead.” As far as being suspended, no, Benn has not been. As far as him not committing any violations, no, he has not done so as far as his UKAD tests go. And, as of time of writing, the fight may go ahead.
Hearn has perhaps been in contact with his lawyers already, as the word is, he and Sauerland will launch some kind of appeal so as to ensure the fight goes ahead (in fact, Sauerland has stated that the fight WILL go ahead as scheduled). There is also talk, nothing concrete, that Saturday’s fight could be sanctioned by a commission, or federation, other than the BBB of C (as was the case when the 2012 David Haye-Dereck Chisora fight was unsanctioned by the BBB of C).
Eubank Jr says he has “done his job,” and he said at today’s open work-out, attended by both fighters, that he hopes the fight goes ahead, but that “things have to be right.” Interestingly, Eubank Jr said he had not spoken personally to Benn this morning, this contradicting what Benn said when he spoke of a “phone call” he had had with his rival opponent.
But the big question now is, SHOULD the fight go ahead on Saturday? The findings of Benn’s B sample will not be revealed before Saturday, Hearn said, so we won’t know until after the fight whether Benn is actually innocent or not. But is it worth taking the risk? People from the world of boxing have been asking questions like, what would happen, heaven forbid, if the fight goes ahead and Benn destroys a weight-drained, or, in his own words, a “60 percent” Eubank, and hurts him seriously in the process? How will Benn’s state of mind be during the fight with all that has happened weighing on his mind?
If Saturday’s fight does happen, it will be a case of money coming before health and safety, will it not? Ask yourself this question: if this was not such a big fight with so much money on the line, would the fight happen? If it does go ahead, another good question is, what’s the point of even having drugs tests?
What do you guys think – should Eubank Jr-Benn go ahead on Saturday or not?