‘Conor Benn is the MONEY man for the [147-lb] division’ says Eddie Hearn
By Jack Tiernan: Promoter Eddie Hearn says that the 25-year-old Conor Benn is the “MONEY man” for the welterweight division and points out that he’s being called out by “everyone.”
The son of British boxing legend Nigel Benn, the unbeaten 147-lb fringe contender Conor (20-0, 13 KOs) is already bringing in massive audiences for his fights in the UK and a reported net worth close to $8 million without even having ever fought for a world title.
Some believe that Benn is now the replacement “money man” for Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing company. His flagship fighter, former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua career is starting to take on water and is sinking rapidly.
If Benn is going to be the replacement money-man for the floundering Joshua’s ship, he’s got to be able to beat the top welterweights.
“Conor Benn wants to fight for the world title, right? So, we’re in a situation now where we can get a name, or we can get a route to get that mandatory position,” said Eddie Hearn to Fight Stars TV.
Hearn wants to get Benn a quick title shot
It’s not a good sign that Hearn is reluctant to match Benn against David Avanesyan because if he’s not confident that he can beat a fighter like him, how on earth does have any chance of defeating Errol Spence Jr, Terence Crawford, Jaron Ennis, Yordenis Ugas or Vergil Ortiz Jr?
Hearn is being VERY strategic in the way he matches the young Benn, putting him in with well-known old guys in learning fights to build his worldwide profile and to push him up the welterweight rankings.
The idea is for Benn to possibly get into a position to challenge for a world title in 2022. Hearn had hoped to get Benn a title shot against WBA 147-lb champion Yordenis Ugas, the weakest link among the belt-holders in the division.
However, with the news of Eimantas Stanionis stepping aside to allow IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. to fight Ugas in a three-belt unification, Hearn has a big decision to make next year.
Should Hearn let Benn fight the winner of the Spence vs. Ugas fight, or does he continue to build him and wait for those guys to age slowly?
Ugas is 35-years-old, and Spence 31, and starting to show signs of slippage due to a terrible car accident in 2019. Having Benn wait might not help him, though, because younger fighters Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, 24, and Vergil Ortiz Jr., 23, are already ranked ahead of him and closing in on the three 147-lb champions.
Benn is still being fed cannon fodder
In another example of a learning fight, Benn defeated former WBO 140-lb champion Chris Algieri (25-4, 9 KOs) earlier this month in a fourth round knockout victory on December 11th in Liverpool, England.
It was a good win for Benn, who knocked the 37-year-old Algieri out with a single right hand to the head after the well-educated fighter made a bush league mistake by backing against the ropes in the fourth.
Hearn now would like to match Benn against one of these well-known fighters:
- Adrien Broner
- Robert Guerrero
- Shawn Porter
Ideally, the former four-division world champion ‘The Problem’ Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) is the guy that Hearn would like to get for Benn to fight next, but Adrien wants a tune-up fight in March or April of next year before facing Conor.
The 32-year-old Broner hasn’t fought since last February, and he looked horrible in winning a controversial 12 round unanimous decision against fringe light welterweight contender Jovanie Santiago in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Interestingly, Santiago was stopped in six rounds in his last fight after the loss to Broner, losing to unbeaten 25-year-old Gary Antuanne Russell (14-0, 14 KOs).
The way that Russell efficiently handled Santiago shows how far Broner has deteriorated as a fighter, but that’s not Hearn’s lookout. He wants Broner as a name opponent for Benn to slaughter to increase his popularity.
Benn’s options: Guerrero, Broner, or Porter
“So, I love Adrien Broner or if Shawn Porter wants to come out of retirement or Robert Guerrero [to fight Conor Benn]. All these kinds of names.
“I said the other day about David Avanesyan. I’m not against that fight, but it’s just not going to fill arenas like those three, and it’s a very tough fight [for Benn], which we acknowledge, but it’s a great fight, and we don’t rule it out.
“The plan for Conor Benn is to get him into position to challenge for a world title, and he’s on fire. Everyone is calling out Conor Benn. Why do you think? Because he’s the money-man for the division, outside of Crawford, Spence, and these guys. He’s on fire,” said Hearn.
It would be surprising if Hearn can drag Shawn Porter out of his recent retirement to fight Benn, and even if he does, what does the 33-year-old gatekeeper have left?
Porter was just knocked out by Terence Crawford last November, and it’s not a good look if Benn faces him next.
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