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Eubank Jr likely to be denied permission by BBBofC to fight Benn in UAE

Image: Eubank Jr likely to be denied permission by BBBofC to fight Benn in UAE

By Jake Tiernan: Chris Eubank Jr is expected to be denied authorization by the British Boxing Board of Control to fight Conor Benn in Abu Dhabi in June.

The two fighters had planned to fight last October, but the bout was canceled after it was revealed that Benn had tested positive for the banned substance clomifene. Rather than meet with the board to discuss the results of the tests, Benn surrendered his license, and he’s been inactive ever since.

Eubank Jr could have his license to fight suspended by the Board if he goes through with the Benn contest without their permission, and they’re not likely to give him that.

Benn doesn’t need to be cleared by the BBBofC because he already gave up his license, but his & Eubank Jr’s training team would need to be given permission from the Board.

“If the situation remains as it is today then I would think that would be unlikely. But we have not had any applications,” said BBBofC general secretary to The Guardian on whether the board would give authorizations for Eubank Jr and the training team to compete against Benn abroad.

“If any British license holder – boxer, trainer, etc. – wants to fight in a tournament abroad with another commission, they have to apply to us for permission,” he said

Moreover, it’s not just Eubank Jr that has to worry. It’s his and Benn’s trainers that could face fines & suspensions by the Board if they take part in this fight abroad.

Unfortunately, the Benn vs. Eubank Jr fight doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. That won’t make Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn happy because he’s been over the moon lately, talking up a storm about the Benn-Eubank Jr being back on, and he was as happy as a clam about it.

Oblivious to what the BBBofC would do potentially in terms of suspending Eubank Jr’s license and going after this training team as well, Hearn sounded totally upbeat, as if the fight was already a done deal.

It doesn’t look good now, though, and you got to wonder if Benn would be better off getting it over with by meeting with the British Boxing Board, explaining why he tested positive twice for clomifene, and taking whatever fine or ban they want to hand out.

In hindsight, if Benn had done this already, his suspension might be could be nearly over. By not meeting with the Board, Benn has delayed his ability to resume fighting in the UK, which is where his fan base is located and where he can make big money.

As Benn has already shown, he doesn’t even need to fight quality opposition for him to make good money as normal fighters do. He can fight lower-level opposition and earn a good living like he’s been doing since he turned pro in 2016. That’s one of the advantages of being the son of the famous former world champion Nigel Benn.

Benn had reportedly hoped to find a way around not having a British boxing license to fight following his two positive tests for clomifene.

It was thought that Benn could circumvent fighting without a license by completing in the UAE. He may not have realized that Eubank Jr, who is a Brit, would need permission from the BBBofC to fight out of the country, and it doesn’t appear that he’s going to be allowed.

If the Board rejects permitting Eubank Jr to fight in the UAE, it would mean that Benn will need to go in a different direction by facing a non-Brit. In this case, it could be 43-year-old Manny Pacquiao.

That would be a very tough fight for the 26-year-old Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) because of how Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) looked in his last fight two years ago against Yordenis Ugas in 2021; he’ll beat him.

Benn would be coming off of more than a year layoff against Pacquiao, and he’s never fought anyone near the ability. Fighting Eubank Jr, who has never beaten anyone decent in his career is one thing, but going up against a guy like Pacquiao would likely be a step too far for Benn.

Pacquiao would make easy work of the old guys that Benn has padded his record with his victories over Chris Van Heerden, Samuel Vargas, Adrian Granados, and Chris Algieri. Those guys would be wiped out by Pacquiao, even at 43.

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