By Charles Brun: Conor Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) took advantage of his opponent Sebastian Formella’s complete lack of power to defeat him by a workmanlike 10 round unanimous decision on Saturday night in their fight on DAZN and Sky at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
The judge’s scores were as follows:
Boxing News 24 had Benn winning by a 100-91 score, as the 33-year-old light-hitting Formella was just too weak to make it competitive. With that said, Benn looked tired in the later rounds, and he was wide open for shots.
If this had been a welterweight with power, Benn would have beaten up and knocked out. Kudos to Benn’s management at Matchroom Boxing for picking Formella as his opponent. They obviously picked wisely.
Formella was coming off of a lopsided 12 round decision defeat against Shawn Porter last August, which is arguably the reason why the German fighter was picked for Benn.
(Photos by Dave Thompson & Mark Robinson – Matchroom Boxing)
After the fight, Benn made it clear that he wants to fight #14 IBF, #15 WBC Josh Kelly next. However, it’s unclear whether Kelly will be worth fighting after he faces David Avanesyan or should I say IF he fights him.
Kelly is supposed to be fighting Avanesyan next, but that fight has been scheduled and canceled already in the past. It would be better for Benn to target fighters that are more active than Kelly because he doesn’t need to wind up like Avaneysan and waste time.
“That’s the only fight I’m interested in, that’s Josh Kelly,” said Benn. “Do I look like a scared fighter?
“They should have taken the chance when they did. My stock is going up.”
“That is a massive fight in the summer,” said Hearn about a fight between Kelly and Benn.
Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (10-0, 9 KOs) defeated Ricard Lartey (14-4, 11 KOs) by a second-round knockout. Wardley, 25, knocked Lartey down with a big left hook. Lartey was initially hurt from a jab from Wardley, and then dropped after.
The fight was then waved off moments later. It was a good win for Wardley, but his opponent was so poor that it didn’t tell us anything about his future potential.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn raved about Wardley’s win afterward, saying he wants him to fight for the British heavyweight strap, and he intends on adding him to the Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte card on January 30th.
“The British title will free up. Wardley should fight for that. He will box on the Whyte-Povetkin card.
“He is a great young heavyweight. He is exciting and punches very hard.,” said Hearn to skysports.com.
In a sloppy heavyweight fight between two guys going nowhere fast, unbeaten Alen Babic (6-0, 6 KOs) plodded his way to a third-round stoppage of British domestic-level fighter Tom Little (10-9, 3 KOs.
The 6’5″ Babic, 30, dropped Little twice in the third to get the stoppage. The judge officially stopped the contest at 2:38 of round three.
Although Babic won the fight, he looked tired at times and was incredibly easy to hit. The way that Babic fought, he’ll be in trouble when he steps it up against a world-class fighter in the future.
I must say that Babic looked horrible tonight. The guy was absolutely gassed by the third. If not for Little being in dreadful shape, he probably would have beaten Babic.
Hearn is going to have to be careful wth Babic because if he puts him in with a live body, he’ll be counting stars.
Jez Smith (12-2-1, 5 KOs) dominated Ben Ridings (3-1) in middleweight action in winning a one-sided six-round decision. The score was 60-54.
Undefeated bantamweight Liam Davies (8-0, 3 KOs) looked good in defeating Sean Cairns (7-3, 1 KO) to capture the vacant BBBofC English Bantam Title. Cairns was pulled out after the sixth.
Welterweight project Conor Benn will be in the main event against German fighter Sebastian Formella live on DAZN and Sky Sports from the Wembley Arena in London, England.
The 24-year-old Benn (16-0, 11 KOs) is facing the best opponent of his short four-year pro career in 33-year-old Formella, who is coming off of a disappointing one-sided 12-round decision defeat to Shawn Porter last summer.
Porter made it look effortless in beating Formella by the scores 120-108 x 3. You’ve got to give Formella credit for surviving the full 12 round distance because he would have been knocked out if he stood and fought Porter the way some fighters have done in the past.
The lack of pop in Formella’s punches is his main problem going into tonight’s fight. He doesn’t hit hard enough to have a chance of knocking out Benn, so he’ll be forced to try and win a decision, which won’t be easy because he’s the visiting fighter,
It’s unclear why Matchroom Boxing chose to watch Benn against a fighter having lost as badly as Formella did against Porter, but a good answer would be that they don’t have faith that he can beat a top 15-caliber contender at 147 at this time.
Formella was briefly ranked in the top 15 at welterweight after beating Thulani Mbenge and Roberto Arriaza. But after his defeat against Porter on August 22nd, Formella is back in the second tier and no longer a world-class contender.
Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing believes he’ll be a star if he defeats Formella tonight, which is an odd view. Conor has got to do well beyond beating a lower-level fighter for him to become a star, but we don’t know what kind of star Hearn is talking about. If he’s talking about Conor being a domestic level star, yeah, that’s possible.
But Hearn’s feet aren’t planted firmly on the ground if he’s talking about Benn becoming a superstar in the sport. He hasn’t shown any of the traits that one would see in a star type of talent.
Beating Formella will prove that Benn is good enough to get past a lesser fighter, but it does nothing to show what he can do if/when he gets in there with a ranked contender in the welterweight division.
Hearn has put a lot of time and money into Benn, the son of former British middleweight Nigel Benn. Conor isn’t as big, fast, powerful, or as talented as Nigel. So if he’s going to pan out in the future, he’ll need to make many improvements.
“I’ve been nervous for every Conor Benn fight. This gamble is based on what we see in the gym, not in the ring,” said Hearn to skysports.com. “The improvements he’s made make trainer Tony Sims think he is ready.
“If he comes through, we have a really big star on our hands.”
Other fights on tonight’s card:
- Fabio Wardley vs. Richard Lartey
- Liam Davies vs. Sean Cairns
- Alen Babic vs. Tom Little
- Ben Ridings vs. Jez Smith