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Eddie Hearn: Conor Benn “will be fighting sooner than you think”

Image: Eddie Hearn: Conor Benn "will be fighting sooner than you think"

By Barry Holbrook: Eddie Hearn says that with the information that he knows about Conor Benn’s case over his failed drug tests, he believes there’s a “good chance” that he won’t be receiving a ban.

As such, Hearn says he expects Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) to be back inside the ring by March or in the summer. Whether that fight will be a tune-up variety for the unbeaten Benn or against a “big” name will be up to his trainer Tony Sims.

It will rub many boxing fans the wrong way if Benn doesn’t receive a lengthy ban for his two failed tests for clomifene, but we don’t know whether there was contamination in the testing procedure.

From the way Hearn talks, he seems confident Benn won’t receive a ban. But even if Benn does, it might not be a lengthy one, and he’ll be back inside the ring ready to resume his successful career.

“Not true. He knew about the test before the fight. He was actually willing to progress with that fight,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV when told that Chris Eubank Jr said that he didn’t know about the first positive drug test for Conor Benn leading up to their canceled October 8th fight.

“You have to understand that one of his comments was, ‘If I had known about that, I wouldn’t have signed the contract.’ We didn’t know about it until well after the contracts were signed for that fight. So there was nothing that anyone could have done in that respect.

“When we got the information, there was an ongoing case hearing. It was a confidential case with the WBC. His [Eubank Jr] team was made aware of that test. They were still willing to proceed with that. So it’s one for Kalle.

“A lot of these interviews in terms of timing and stuff like that, that’s the bigger question. What I can tell you is that he [Eubank Jr] was aware of that before the fight was canceled. He was prepared to progress with the fight, or his team knew about that before.

“Also, the British Boxing Board of Control was aware of that first test. There was a procedure going on that was confidential to them and the hearing, and yeah, that’s it. That hearing now, as you heard from [WBC president] Mauricio [Sulaiman], is deep in.

“I’ve heard an interview, I don’t know if it’s from you guys, saying that at the end of this month, we’ll have a result. I can’t wait because I think a lot of people will be surprised by what’s about to come out about Conor Benn.

“I think he’s going to be fighting sooner than you think. If he does receive a ban, which from the information that we have, I don’t think it’s necessarily it’s fair, but if it is, I don’t think it’s going to be a long ban at all.

“I don’t want to be too cocksure, but I think it’s going to be really interesting about what comes out here.

I think there’s a very good chance that he won’t be receiving a ban. Again, I can’t say too much, but that information. This is an independent. This is a legal system that is being rolled through people with all the news and facts.

“In my opinion, from what I’ve seen, if there is a ban, it cannot be a sizable ban from the facts that will be produced. But again,  how many times have we had this interview in the last three months?

“So let them do their hearing. It’s great that Mauricio has come out and said that hearing is in process and we’ll get a result. Whatever that result is, is the result. He’s either going to be cleared to fight, or he’s going to receive a ban.

“When that ban finishes, if that is the case, he will fight again, or if he’s cleared to fight immediately, he will fight again. He’s back in the gym. Mentally now, he needs to get his head in the game and prepare to resume his career at some point, which will be determined.

“That’s down to Tony Sims,” said Hearn when asked if Conor Benn will take a tune-up when he returns to the ring. “Mentally, this has been an absolutely horrific period for him. So are you ready to go back into the fire in a 50-50 fight?

“In Conor Benn’s mind, yes. But in the trainer’s mind, maybe you come back, depending on the situation, in March or whenever, and then you have a big fight in the summer. Or, depending on the situation, maybe you just come back in the summer,” said Hearn.

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