Conor Benn to fight in late September or early October, Keith Thurman a possibility
By Barry Holbrook: Eddie Hearn says he will be making an offer to Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman for him to face Conor Benn in a mega-fight in the UK in late September or early October.
Hearn states that former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) is the #1 target for Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) to battle next, and he says he’s got the money to make this fight.
The 33-year-old Thurman might not be too keen on being put in the position as a stepping stone for the young 25-year-old Benn, as it was only five years ago that ‘One Time’ was viewed by boxing fans as the #1 welterweight in the sport.
Injuries, inactivity, and weight issues have taken away from Thurman’s skills, knocking him off his perch as the #1 fighter in the welterweight division.
Although Thurman has only lost once since recording his best career win over Danny Garcia in 2017, he hasn’t fought often enough to be viewed as the top guy in the division.
“I think it’s a sad moment in the sport if you can’t mention fighters that are outside of your stable,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV when asked if it’s not worth mentioning Keith Thurman as someone he’d like to match against Conor Benn when he’s with Al Haymon.
“We should always be looking to fight the best, and Keith Thurman is one of the best 147-pounders in the world. I’ve spoken to Luis DeCubis, and I’ve mentioned to him that we would like to fight Keith Thurman.
“I’ll make an offer, and if it’s acceptable, then great. If it’s not, then we won’t. Everyone is asking about Chris Eubank Jr. [for Conor Benn]. That’s not a fight that we’re close to at the moment, but also, at the same time, we understand the size of that fight.
“But Conor Benn will be in a big fight end of September or early October for sure,” said Hearn.
If Hearn can’t get Thurman to agree to the fight, it’s unclear who his second option will be for Benn to fight in September or October.
Boxing fans would be over the moon to see Benn battle Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis or Vergil Ortiz next, but Hearn probably won’t want to put him in against either of those fighters.
Those guys are high-risk low, reward contenders, and it would be a big step up for Benn to go from fighting Chris Van Heerden to battling Boots Ennis or Ortiz.
Thurman is an excellent option for Benn because he’s only fought three times in the last five years since 2017, and he’s an old 33. If Benn can drag Thurman into the trenches, his youth and superior power could be too much for old warrior ‘One Time.’
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