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Conor Benn vs. Chris Eubank Jr on DAZN PPV on October 8th in London

Image: Conor Benn vs. Chris Eubank Jr on DAZN PPV on October 8th in London

By Barry Holbrook: Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr. are close to having a deal done for a mega-fight on October 8th for a catchweight fight at 156 lbs on DAZN pay-per-view at the O2 Arena in London, England.

The Daily Star is reporting the news of the Eubank Jr. vs. Benn clash close to being done between the sons of two former British boxing stars, Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn.

DAZN placing the Benn vs. Eubank Jr. fight on PPV  is a questionable move, as it’s not a fight that American boxing fans will be interested in paying to see at any price. Many U.S fans view Eubank Jr. (32-2, 23 KOs) as a fringe-level underachiever, a fighter whose career has stalled out after a one-sided loss to George Groves in 2018.

Since Eubank Jr’s loss to Groves, he’s burned through the last four years of his career, taking tune-ups only and choosing not to fight elite-level opposition.

Only Eubank knows why he’s chosen not to get back on the horse and test himself against elite-level opposition since his loss to Groves. This writer’s guess is Eubank Jr’s confidence is shot now, and he seems to be focusing on gimme-level fights to make money.

You can argue that if Eubank Jr weren’t the son of the famous Chris Eubank, he’d be invisible as a fighter.

Some boxing fans view Conor Benn as the UK’s version of Ryan Garcia, a popular fighter who will never win a world title in his career.

Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn worked wonders with the badly flawed Anthony Joshua, turning him into a world champion with clever match-making.

In the last three years, the AJ phenomena were never more than a mirage and product of strategic match-making by Hearn. In other words, it was just smoke & mirrors.

If Hearn can work his magic with Conor Benn, he can become a world champion at 147 or 154, albeit the paper variety like Joshua was when he held titles.

Eubank Jr. is on the slide, fading as a fighter, and his game has deteriorated from the skills he had four to five years ago. He can still punch, though, and this is a huge step up for the type of opposition that Benn has been facing thus far in his six-year professional career.

Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn has seemingly made it a point to match him exclusively against older fighters, who were well past their prime. He’s not been in with any contenders or fighters with power after his bad experience against Cedrick Peynaud in 2017. Benn arguably lost that fight but was given a six-round points decision.

In the UK, DAZN might make some money hawking the Benn-Eubank Jr fight on PPV, but that’s still a massive reach because we’re talking about two fighters that have never beaten quality opposition.

Eubank Jr. is about to turn 33 in September, and his best win during his 11-year professional career is arguably his victory over former middleweight world title challenger Liam Williams last February.

Although Eubank Jr. has victory over former 168-lb world champion James DeGale in 2019, that fighter was washed up after suffering a shoulder injury in his war with Badou Jack.

“The fight is expected to be on DAZN PPV,” said Chris Mckenna of the DailyStar about Benn vs. Eubank Jr. “The financial aspect of the deal means the winner will pocket slightly more of the total purse, which could be as high as £7m depending on ticket sales and pay-per-view buys.”

Many boxing fans feel that Eubank Jr is only got a little time left in his career, and he’s failed to take advantage of the potential he had years ago when he was younger.

In contrast, Benn will be 26, and he’s already got younger fighters like Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis and Vergil Ortiz, both 24, that have done more with their careers than he has in terms of fighting the better opposition and is ranked higher.

Hearn won’t dare throw Benn in with Boots Ennis or Vergil because those guys would likely make short work of him. Benn is a decent slugger but very limited in skills, and he’s been coddled by his promoter.

The date of the Eubank Jr-Benn fight will be one day close to the Oct.9th clash between Nigel and Chris Sr on October 9th, 1993. It’s unclear whether the event’s promoters will make a big fuss over the Nigel vs. Eubank fight 29-years-ago, as that would be something that older fans might see as exciting but not the younger ones that never saw either of these two in action.

“This is the calm before the storm. A fight announcement over the next few days. Make sure you stay tuned because you don’t want to miss this one,” said Conor Benn to Boxing King Media about his next fight on the verge of being announced this week.

Interestingly, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn recently denied a fight between Conor Benn and Eubank Jr. was happening.

Hearn said there were other fighters he was looking at matching Conor again, one of them being Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman. The question is, was Hearn purposefully denying that Eubank Jr. was an option for Benn so he could get his price lowered? It could be.

You can argue that if Eubank Jr. thought he was the sole option for Benn, he might have asked for a more significant split. However, Hearn has repeatedly said that Benn’s next fight would be a blockbuster, which meant that he would be fighting a live dog instead of the old washed-up fighters he’d been facing his entire career.

Former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) would be a brutal fight for Benn because he’s not over-the-hill and old, unlike the fighters Conor has been facing. As we saw with Mario Barrios, Thurman can still fight, and he’s better skilled than Benn.

Hearn wouldn’t want to see Benn exposed by the 33-year-old Thurman before facing the likes of Errol Spence Jr or Terence Crawford in a massive-money fight.

The clever promoter Hearn is sitting on an oil well with Conor Benn, who faithfully pumps out money without needing to be put in with quality opposition. Hearn wouldn’t want to mess that up by putting Benn in with Thurman and seeing his oil well turn into a dry duster early.

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