Eddie Hearn rejects BBBofC stance on Benn and Eubank Jr fighting in London

Sign up to our free sport newsletter for all the latest news on everything from cycling to boxing

Sign up to our free sport email for all the latest news

Thanks for signing up to the
Sport email

Eddie Hearn has said Conor Benn could take legal action against the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC), over a claim that the fighter has not been through a proper investigation following his failed drug tests.

Benn’s planned bout with Chris Eubank Jr fell through on short notice in October 2022, after it was revealed that Benn had failed two drug tests. He was later stripped of his licence by the BBBofC and charged by UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), before the World Boxing Council (WBC) cleared the 27-year-old of any intentional wrongdoing and the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) lifted a provisional suspension.

The BBBofC and Ukad later appealed the NADP’s move, meaning Benn is still unable to box in Britain. Yet Hearn, who promotes the unbeaten welterweight, said this week that Benn vs Eubank Jr could take place at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 3 February.

Robert Smith, the BBBofC’s general secretary, denied that suggestion on Wednesday (29 November), saying: “The Board feel that any athlete – not just a boxer, but any athlete – who has failed a drugs test needs to go through an investigation with the proper authorities, and that hasn’t happened.”

Now Hearn has hit back, telling Boxing Social on Thursday (30 November): “[Smith’s] comments actually were completely inaccurate, and that will be dealt with today by Conor and his legal team, and there will be further news on that.

“For us, the focus is on making the fight […] All our focus is on 3 February, at Spurs, Eubank against Benn. When, or if, we get it signed, then we will deal with the situation.

“We believe Conor Benn is cleared to fight, legally. I won’t go through all of Robert Smith’s comments, but to say that [Conor] has not gone through the applicable channels… that will be dealt with in a big way, because that is absolute rubbish.

Eubank Jr, left, and Benn ahead of their cancelled fight in October 2022 (Steven Paston/PA)

“[Conor has] gone through his hearing with the WBC, which is the body that controlled the testing. He got completely cleared of any wrongdoing and got reinstated in the rankings. Then, he chose to go through the Ukad ruling as well, because he felt like it was the thing to do, and got his suspension lifted and won the case.”

In September, Benn fought for the first time since April 2022, beating Rodolfo Orozco in Florida after obtaining a Texas boxing licence. Meanwhile, Eubank Jr, 34, suffered a TKO loss to Liam Smith in January but avenged that defeat in September.

Eubank Jr and Benn’s cancelled fight in October 2022 was due to take place almost 29 years to the day after the pair’s fathers, Chris Eubank Sr and Nigel Benn, fought one another for the second time. The British icons fought to a draw, three years after Eubank Sr stopped Nigel Benn.

Click here to subscribe to The Independent’s Sport YouTube channel for all the latest sports videos.

Source: Read Full Article