By Barry Holbrook: Eddie Hearn claims minor talks have begun for a fight between retired Manny Pacquiao and Conor Benn.
A fight between the 44-year-old Pacquiao and Benn would likely have to occur abroad because Conor doesn’t have a boxing license to fight in the UK after surrendering his license after testing positive twice for the banned performance-enhancing drug clomifene.
You can’t rule out Pacquiao accepting a fight with Benn if the price is right. If you remember, Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) fought Antonio Margarito in 2010, a year after his tampered hand-wraps controversy for his fight with Shane Mosley in 2009.
Despite the boxing world dumping on Margarito nonstop, Pacquiao still elected to fight him.
Hearn says he’s still waiting for the ruling from the WBC on his fighter Benn (21-0, 14 KOs), who hasn’t fought since wiping out a past his best 35-year-old former welterweight fringe contender Chris Van Heerden last April.
For Benn to fight in the UK, he’ll need to be licensed by the British Boxing Board of Control. However, Hearn says Benn can get licensed outside the UK and then apply to fight there with a foreign boxing license.
“I would not be surprised to see Benn fight Pacquiao next, but it’s not signed. There have been a couple of minor discussions, but obviously, the key for us is to work on the WBC ruling,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing King Media when asked if Conor Benn will fight Manny Pacquiao next.
“Ultimately, it depends on the ruling on the tests and VADA. He doesn’t have a Boxing Board of Control license. There’s no ruling on Conor Benn from the Board, but we want to fight in the UK.
“So his choice would be to apply for a Boxing Board of Control license or to get a license elsewhere and apply to fight in the UK, which many British fighters do. So we’ll see,” said Hearn.
For the right amount of money, Pacquiao might choose to fight Benn. Obviously, it would look really bad for Pacquiao, as the backlash against him would be severe from fans for choosing to indulge Benn after his two positive tests.
It’s unknown if Pacquiao still has aspirations to become the president of the Philippines or if he’s given up on that idea. If Pacquiao doesn’t care anymore, it would be a good idea; fighting Benn might be a good option to make money.