By Jack Tiernan: Eddie Hearn has three older fighters – Adrien Broner, Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero, and Shawn Porter – on his shortlist for Conor Benn to fight next in early 2022 potentially.
Benn, 25, is coming off a fourth round knockout win over 37-year-old former WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri last Saturday night on December 11th at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England.
Algieri was old, shot and fighting out of his regular weight class of 140, taking on Benn at 147. Against Algieri, Benn not surprisingly looked like a world-beater, knocking him out cold.
Is it just about money?
The 38-year-old Robert Guerrero is way past his prime at this stage in his 20-year professional career, and it’s unlikely he’ll help Benn improve.
The way Benn is being brought along by Hearn is eerily similar to how Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was matched early in his career to take advantage of the popularity of his famous father.
If it’s just about money for Benn and Hearn, picking Guerrero might help in that area because the older fans still remember him. But the younger generation will likely have no idea who ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero is because his most memorable fights took place from 2006 to 2016.
Hearn is currently negotiating a fight between unbeaten welterweight contender Benn (20-0, 13 KOs) and former four-division world champion Adrien’The Problem’ Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs).
If Hearn is successful in his negotiations with the 32-year-old Broner, he’ll move on and try and put a fight together with the former two-division world champion ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero (37-6-1, 20 KOs) and Conor.
The recently retired Shawn Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs) might be the most difficult of the three to negotiate with because he’s coming off a tenth round knockout loss to WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford on November 20th.
Hearn prefers Broner over Avanesyan for Benn
“I think he beats [David] Avanesyan,” said Hearn to Boxing Social about Conor Benn beating the powerful, highly ranked welterweight contender. “It’s a really, really tough fight, but if I can make a much bigger name fight than Avaneysan, I will.
“Avanesyan is a brilliant fighter, but outside of our little boxing world [he’s not well known], I don’t want to be disrespectful, but Adrien Broner, and these kinds of names.
“These are names, even [Chris] Algieri. We saw the viewership in America for that fight. It was HUGE for the Algieri fight,” said Hearn about Conor Benn’s fight last Saturday night against former WBO light welterweight champion.
“This is about building a global star. It’s not about just doing so because some bloke in an interview on boxing Social said, ‘Well, they’re running.’ F*** off. We’ve got bigger plans than you, mate.
‘You do your thing, and we’ll see what you do next.’ We’ve got a global plan for our fighters with start potential, and Conor Benn is one of them,” Hearn said.
Broner is a much after choice for Benn to fight than Avanesyan because he’s basically a 130-pounder in terms of punching power, and he’s not going to be a threat.
Can Benn become a star fighting just old guys?
The stamina issues that Broner has shown in his last five fights reflect his lack of dedication to stay in the gym in between contests.
It would probably be disastrous if Hearn let Benn fight a dangerous puncher like David Avanesyan because he’s not old, weak, and over-the-hill like the fodder that the Matchroom Boxing promoter has been feeding to Conor.
Avanesyan is a tremendous body puncher, and he would test Benn in a way that he hasn’t been since he turned pro.
If Hearn wants to turn Benn into a real star and try and develop him in a genuine way, he needs to change the way he’s matching him. Forget about putting Benn in with the old-timers like Broner, Guerrero, and Porter. Instead, focus on matching Benn against these fighters:
- Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis
- Vergil Ortiz Jr.
- Keith Thurman
- David Avanesyan
- Danny Garcia
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
Broner, Guerrero & Porter = options for Benn
“We do what we do, and we do what we want, and we make the right moves for Conor Benn. We’re not hiding; we’re not aking easy touches. And we’re developing at the right time against the right names.
“Adrien Broner, Robert Guerrero, Shawn Porter if he wants to come out [of retirement],” said Hearn about options for Benn’s next fight. “These are the names that are going to fill up the O2 and make him a global star.
“That is the plant for Conor Benn. We know what we’re doing. Other people don’t know what they’re doing, so we’ll move at the right pace.
“Like I said, the development has been perfection with Conor Benn, and 90 percent of it has been down to him because of what he has done in the gym.
“So we’re doing this right. We’re not doing these big balls, ego. ‘He called me out.’ We’re making the right moves. He’s making a fortune, and good luck to him.
“He’s going to make a lot of money and be a massive star,” said Hearn about how he intends on moving Benn with his match-making and development.
If Hearn plans to match Benn against old guys until he can make a killing with a massive payday fight against IBF/WBC 147-lb champion Errol Spence Jr. or WBO champion Terence Crawford, you can’t fault him for doing that.
Benn won’t improve much fighting the shell of Guerrero, Porter, or Broner enough to where he’ll be capable of beating Crawford, Spence, or even Yordenis Ugas.
Those guys had amateur backgrounds and faced better opposition when they were younger. Their management didn’t just bring them along to make easy money against shot fighters without the thought of their development.