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Conor Benn wants Keith Thurman after Maurice Hooker fight on April 23rd

Conor Benn boxing photo

By Barry Holbrook: Conor Benn says Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is a fighter he’ll be interested in fighting after his April 23rd match. Benn (20-0, 13 KOs) will keep his eye on the outcome of former WBA/WBC welterweight champion ‘One Time’ Thurman’s comeback fight on February 5th against Mario Barrios; he could call him out afterward.

It’ll be difficult for Benn to bag a fight against the 33-year-old ‘One Time’ Thurman, as he’s saying he wants to challenge for a world title in his next battle, provided he defeats Barrios on February 5th  in their main event on FOX Sports PPV.

If Benn can score a knockout victory over Thurman, it would take his career to the next level, making a name for him worldwide. Although Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn is already calling him a “Global superstar,” he’s not yet achieved that status. But with a knockout victory over ‘One Time’ Thurman, he’ll have genuinely acquired that status.

For the time being, Benn, 25, will likely be facing former WBO light welterweight champion Maurice ‘Mighty Mo’ Hooker on April 23 in the headliner on DAZN.

Hearn has already made an offer to the 32-year-old Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs) for him to consider. If he rejects the offer, Hearn says he’ll renew his efforts to get Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner to take the fight with Benn.

Hearn hasn’t given up entirely on convincing the 32-year-old former four-division world champion Broner to face Benn, despite the American insisting he wants a tune-up fight first.

Conor Benn targeting Thurman after Barrios

“That’s why we’re having these fights we’re having as a benchmark as to where I’m at so far and passed them with flying colors,” said Conor Benn to Boxing Social on why he’s veterans.

Conor Benn boxing photo

“So, really, if I fight Shawn Porter right now, you can’t help but say it’s going to be a close fight. When I beat [Sebastian] Formella more convincing [than Porter did], I know styles make fights, but beating him easy.

“I’ve only had harder fights earlier in my career. We’ll just keep fighting these guys. Maurice Hooker is the name I want. Obviously, I’d rather have Danny or Mikey Garcia, most definitely, but Adrien Broner is just a liability. It would be nice to have that fight [Broner]. It would be lovely.

“The reason we’re having a Maurice Hooker rather than a Danny Garcia or Mikey Garcia is that we want the bigger fights. Keith Thurman is fighting [Mario] Barrios in a final eliminator.  That’s another fight we’ll look after April 23rd,”  said Benn.

“So yeah, you got Brook vs. Khan. It’s only if Brook wins that fight could happen,” said Benn.

“Adrien Broner wants a warmup; Keith Thurman is fighting Barrios. I love Robert Guerrero or Maurice Hooker. Slightly Maurice Hooker, in my opinion, and then one of them names that I mentioned in the summer,” said Conor.

To get Thurman to agree to a fight with Conor Benn, Hearn will need to make a sizable offer because the Florida native is already a pay-per-view attraction in the States.

Thurman has designs on fighting for a world title straight away in 2022, which might be a pipedream on his part. Keith will have to fight someone famous should he get by Barrios, and Benn would be an excellent choice.

We’ll see how confident Thurman is after his fight with Barrios. If Thurman wipes him out, he might entertain the idea of facing Benn next as long as Hearn offers him enough money.

Benn wants to wait before facing elite competition

“It has nothing to do with whether I’m ready or not. As long as I’m progressing the way I’m progressing, why are they going to throw me in before I’ve even reached my full potential yet,” said Benn when asked about whether his promoters are holding him back from fighting the talented guys like Jaron Ennis, Vergil Ortiz, Errol Spence Jr., and Terence Crawford.

With the money Benn is being paid by his promoters at Matchroom Boxing to face older veterans like Chris Algieri, it’s no wonder why he’s not in a hurry to speed up the pace of being thrown in with the sharks in the 147-lb division.

“I haven’t got to, so why am I going to?” said Benn about him having the luxury of not needing to face the killers Ennis, Vergil, Spence, or Crawford.

Conor Benn boxing photo

“Look at my progress from the Formella fight to Algieri. The Granados fight to the Algieri, the [Samuel] Vargas to Algieri,”  said Benn about his belief that he’s made huge strides since his wins over Vargas, Formella, and Granados rather than a situation where the 37-year-old Algieri was more washed up than those fighters.

“So when I’m progressing that quick, why not wait until you know I’m there before I fight the likes of Vergil Ortiz, the Jaron Ennis’s, David Avanesyan because I relish that fight.

“The Jaron Ennis and Vergil Ortiz, I would say are like the Crème de la crème [the best of the best]. The Errol Spences, Ugas, and I would fight Ugas now. So, I get it, and the public should get it. All your fighters to have as many learning fights as they can,” Benn said.

It’s difficult to know whether Benn is progressing from fight to fight because his level of competition has been sliding downward recently, with him going from fighting contender Sebastian Formella to journeyman Adrian Granados and the badly washed-up former WBO 140-lb champion Chris Algieri.

A decade ago, Algieri was briefly a champion at 140, but he beat anyone of substance other than his upset victory over Ruslan Provodnikov.

Benn denies he’s conning  the public

“We’re not conning the public, and we’re not fooling the people for this or that,” Benn said. “You know, I’m going to reach my full potential. As long as I’m still learning, as long as I’m still growing, I’m not in no hurry at all. Why? What is the hurry?

“Will I fight Vergil Ortiz?  One million percent, I will. Will I fight Jaron Ennis? One million percent, I will. Will I fight Errol Spence, Ugas, Thurman? One million percent when the timing is right for me. I pride myself and work extremely hard, so when the fights are ready to be made, they’ll get made.

“It’s not that I’m not ready right now, but why make the Vergil Ortiz fight ten times the harder fight and an easier fight for him now, so to speak, or an easier fight for me when I’m still learning.

“I’ll wait until you’ll know. You’ll see the progress. The proof is in the pudding, and every time I step out there under the lights, I’ll put on clinical performance,  better than the last, which people think, ‘How can you be better than the last?’ There’s so much room for improvement.

“We’re working on things now after the base of the Algieri fight, and watch I’ll come back and bosh. It’ll be like, “Yeah,  wow! More improvement.’

“We’re not doing them no favors,” said Benn in ruling out a fight with David Avanesyan and his promoter Frank Warren. “They wouldn’t be doing me no favors if the shoe was on the other foot. As far as the 500 grand offer from Warren, that’s nothing to me. For that fight, it’s nothing to me,” said Benn.

“For an Avanesyan fight, I’d rather fight [retired] Shawn Porter or fight a world title eliminator or for a world title even. If you look at my record and look at Avanesyan’s record, look at my 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th fight. Look at his, and that says enough.

“I’m not in no hurry. I’ve got loads of paydays ahead of me. It’s his team’s job to make him a lot of money before he retires,” Benn said of Avanesyan. “He ain’t got that many bigger fights ahead of him,” said Benn.

The boxing public is starting to believe that Hearn is conning them with the way he’s matching Benn against only washed-up older fighters.

They point out that Conor is older than the highly ranked Jaron Ennis and Vergil Ortiz Jr, and those fighters are being matched against quality opposition.

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