Eddie Hearn clearly believes that the star-crossed, scuttled fight between Conor Benn Jr. and Chris Eubank Jr. can still be salvageable.
Benn and Eubank were slated to face each other last month in an intriguing 157-pound catchweight bout that had drawn large interest from the British sporting public because their fathers produced the country’s most fearsome boxing rivalry in the 1990s.
Three days after the fight, Benn, 26, was found to have tested positive for clomifene. This is a fertility drug that increases testosterone levels and doubles up as a masking agent. The Daily Mail revealed the shocking news.
The British Boxing Board of Control immediately issued a statement disqualifying the fight. Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Eubank’s promoter Kalle Sauerland, however, appeared intent on moving forward with the fight, whether via court injunction or using an outside commission. In the end, the fight was cancelled. Hearn and his handlers were under investigation because all parties knew the positive results for nearly two weeks before the publication of The Daily Mail story. This gave rise to suspicions that Hearn was trying to keep the results secret.
Later, the outlet revealed that Benn had tested positive for Clomifene on another occasion in the summer.
In a recent interview, Hearn indicated that Benn’s hearing with the BBBofC had begun. Hearn suggested in recent weeks that he believes Benn’s charge could be vindicated by the results of a fair trial. Hearn seems to believe that Benn may not have to serve a ban if he does end up serving one. Hearn expressed his confidence that the Eubank bout will continue to be offered. The attraction of that fight will depend on Eubank’s ability to remain undefeated in the interim and, one imagines if the public will still be open to such a star-crossed, ethically corrupt match-up.
Eubank is preparing for a fight with Liam Smith in December.
“If Eubank Jr. starts to lose fights to the likes of Liam Smith, that obviously impacts that fight, but at the end of the day … if Conor Benn receives a ban, he’s going to be fighting again,” Hearn told iFL TV. “Whether that’s, like I said, three months, six months, a year, whatever that is, and that will be from July. Conor will be back in the ring next summer or possibly even earlier.
“And there’s every opportunity I believe looking at the facts that he gets no ban, so we’ll have to see how that plays out in a hearing. But one thing I do know is he’s going to be returning at some point in his life in a big fight and for me that’s still the Eubank Jr. fight. But obviously Eubank is not going to wait around until then, but if he loses that does impact the fight happening.”