Pacquiao coming out of retirement, could face Conor Benn

By Boxing News - 03/03/2023 - Comments

By Barry Holbrook: Manny Pacquiao is reportedly in training to return to the ring after two years of retirement, and Conor Benn is a possible option for the 44-year-old.

It’s unclear why Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) would choose to fight the 26-year-old Benn, given his lack of experience against world class opposition and the two failed drug tests from last year.

Obviously, there’s money to be made for Pacquiao by fighting Benn, who is popular in the UK. Given that the match likely wouldn’t be allowed to take place in British, it would probably need to be staged in Saudi Arabia. It’s doubtful the U.S. would permit the fight to be staged there.

Benn has never fought a true upper-tier opponent during his seven-year professional career, and you can argue that his experience is on the level of Tommy Fury. For that reason, it’s a winnable fight for Pacquiao because Benn’s opposition as a pro has been poor.

Conor hasn’t faced any adversity that he would generally have to deal with if he’d fought a quality welterweight like Jaron Ennis, Errol Spence, Vergil Ortiz Jr, Eimantas Stanionis, or Terence Crawford.

Although Benn has fought several fighters that were fringe contenders many years ago, such as Chris van Heerden, Samuel Vargas, Adrian Granados, and Sebastian Formella, they were well past their prime when he fought them.

Likewise, 37-year-old former WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri, another guy Benn beat, was a shell of the fighter he’d once been when he upset Ruslan Provodnikov in 2014 to capture a world title.

“Only Conor Benn can answer that question,” said Simon Jordan to talkSPORT Boxing when asked if Conor Benn would go down the drug-taking route. “Only Conor Benn can respond to the allegations that his powers have increased dramatically over the last two years.

“Only Conor Benn can answer these. I’d like to think that he wasn’t. The problem is when you have a strict liability on you, which they have.

“In the WBC’s world, they said, ‘Give up a credible explanation. Okay, eggs, fine. We can’t prove it’s in the eggs, so we’ll say it’s fine.‘ The British Boxing Board of Control of control is going, ‘No, no, no, no. You’ve got to do more. By the way, you not only need to do more, but you’ve got to come see us.'”

“We heard recently he’s trying to sue the British Boxing Board of Control for three and a half million, which is a mistake. It also could be a case of they haven’t got that money,” said Ade Oladipo.

“Do they want to go down the legal route, or do they want to shut this thing down. ‘Hey, everybody, move on.’ I think that’s the play here from Conor Benn and his team.

“As far as the WBC saying everything is fine. A 270-page document was sent to the WBC. Why was it 270 pages just to say it was a problem with eggs? It is an issue for me. Another thing with the WBC. I hate that they’re involved in this as well.

They’re a sanctioning body. They’re not a governing body. They should have no play in this whatsoever. If you want the British public to believe in you, they’re NOT going to believe in you based on the WBC has to say on this. They’re going to believe in you if it goes to a separate entity who has nothing to do with boxing,” said Oladipo.

YouTube video