Conor Benn has been exonerated following the verdict of the UK Anti-Doping’s (UKAD) investigation into his failed drug test last year, and Eddie Hearn is eager to get him back in the ring sooner rather than later.
The 26-year-old , who maintained his innocence and spent ‘hundreds and thousands’ on scientists to clear his name after traces of clomiphene were found in his samples, has been cleared to fight in the UK.
Benn released a statement saying he is looking forward to putting the matter behind him. He also told his fans that he wanted to fight ‘as soon as possible’ so he can remind everyone who he is.
So, what is next for Benn? Who will he fight and when will he step back into the ring? Well, Hearn told talkSPORT he wanted the 26-year-old to fight again in September before having a big bout in December.
Hearn admitted the September fight would be designed to help Benn brush off the cobwebs after a year of inactivity. The Matchroom promoter said: ‘He wants the biggest fight out there because he has been through a year and half of hell with no fight.
Conor Benn is free to fight in the UK again after being exonerated from his failed drugs’ tests
Promoter Eddie Hearn is eager to get the welterweight back in the ring sooner rather than later
‘Like every young fighter, he wants the biggest fight out there. What I would say that after 16/17 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 Chris Eubank Jr, whether that is Josh Taylor, there are loads of fights out there.
‘I want to get him in the ring. He has never really left the gym. He has tried to stay positive, tried to maintain his focus on the sport and he has done a great job doing that.’
Chris Eubank Jr
Chris Eubank Jr and Benn had been set to renew an old family feud stretching back decades. They were due to face each other in October last year for a much-anticipated bout.
However, on the eve of the fight it was revealed by Sportsmail that Benn had twice tested positive for the banned substance clomifene in the build up to the fight.
The promoters of both fighters tried to keep the fight on, but when lawyers failed to obtain a High Court injunction the fight was shelved – leaving fans somewhat disappointed.
Matchroom confirmed the news, revealing the bout is ‘postponed’ and insisting the Board’s decision to withdraw their sanctioning was ‘procedurally flawed and without due process’.
Benn’s grudge match with Chris Eubank Jr (left) was axed last year after the failed drugs test
There is no doubt the pair will rearrange this bout as it carries a huge financial incentive – with both Eubank Jr and Benn reported to be on six-figure purses for the initial fight.
The clash between Benn and Eubank Jr is also regarded as a legacy bout given the fact they will be facing off about 30 years after their fathers went toe-to-toe on the British stage.
Kell Brook teased a potential fight with Benn in March 2023. He tagged the 26-year-old in a social media post and stated there was ‘massive news coming’.
The former welterweight world champion, who retired from boxing in February 2022, was filmed alongside his nutritionist Greg Marriott earlier this year.
Brook revealed there was ‘massive, massive news’ on the horizon and tagged Benn in the cryptic post – causing plenty of hype around a potential fight.
Marriott added fuel to the fire by sharing a clip claiming Brook was heading ‘off on a little training camp’ before snapping of photo of them sitting on the plane together.
This is not the first time Brook and Benn have been linked with fighting. There had been talks of the two going toe-to-toe before Brook retired from boxing.
Kell Brook, pictured ringside in Edinburgh, teased a potential fight with Benn back in March
However, Brook has admitted to struggling with his mental health after hanging up his gloves and revealed he would be open to returning to the ring.
Meanwhile, Benn said he would ‘really’ like to fight Brook after watching him destroy Amir Khan at the AO Arena in Manchester in February 2022.
The Sheffield fighter was dominant from start to finish, hurting Khan badly in the first round, before the referee finally waved it off in the sixth round.
As result, Benn – who was commentating on the fight – said he would like to take on Brook, claiming it would be a ‘good test’.
Benn even praised Brook for his ‘timing’ and ‘accuracy’ against Khan, claiming the Sheffield born boxer looked ‘sharp’.
Benn told fans that he wants to fight ‘as soon as possible’ so he can remind everyone who he is
TalkSPORT caught up with Benn after the Brook vs Khan fight. They asked Benn what weight he would fight Brook at.
Benn said: ‘I would fight him at 150. It don’t bother me or my team. It really don’t. I am tied into DAZN but I will leave that to them. I want to get stuck straight in. I fancy that fight next.
‘I just messaged my trainer. I fancy that fight next. That’s what I said. If I have to wait, I will wait. If I don’t, then I don’t. I just want that fight.
‘He claims to be the best in Britain. He looked unbelievable tonight, he looks in shape, he looked great on the scales.
‘Now that is me challenging myself against a former world champion who claims to be the best. Idols to rivals, that’s what it is.’
Benn called Josh Taylor out after he lost his WBO super lightweight world title to Teofimo Lopez via unanimous decision.
Josh Taylor weighs in ahead of his WBO super lightweight world title defeat by Teofimo Lopez
Speaking after Taylor’s bout in June, Benn said: ‘Josh Taylor I’d happily give you your third beating on the spin. Don’t play with me.’
Taylor was quick to respond to Benn saying: ‘Must be the road rage kicking in? Or is that the pregnancy hormones?’.
Benn was less than impressed with Taylor comment and replied: ‘I wouldn’t throw stones if I was you… Josh Taylor I get you want your last payday before retirement].’
Taylor finished the exchange off by saying: ‘You won’t be fighting anywhere anytime soon. But, I’ll happily fight you.’