By Matt Lieberman: Paulie Malignaggi went on a long rant talking about welterweight Conor Benn fighting this Saturday night after his positive VADA tests for a banned substance from last year.
Although Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) has been out of the ring since April of last year, he never served a suspension, and according to his promoter Eddie Hearn, he’s cleared to fight, but interestingly, he’s fighting in the U.S at the Caribe Royale Orlando, Orlando, Florida.
Obviously, if the 26-year-old Benn has been cleared, why isn’t he headlining in the UK in front of a large audience rather than in the U.S. on the undercard of little-known light welterweight Richardson Hitchins vs. Jose Zepeda?
Benn will be fighting a Mexican fighter named Rodolfo Orozco (32-3-3,24 KOs) in a ten round fight. Orozco isn’t a contender. He’s just some obscure guy with an inflated resume filled with no names.
If Benn wins this fight, he should easily, unless he returns to the form that he was in five years ago before he suddenly started looking like Superman.
Back in 2018, Benn looked like a mediocre fighter, barely beating the likes of Cedrick Peynaud (9-8-3,5 KOs). If Benn returns to that form, he could lose to Orozco on Saturday, which would wreck plans for him to fight the popular British domestic-level fighter, middleweight Chris Eubank Jr. on PPV.
That’s a business-level fight rather than one that has anything to do with the sport because the winner has no chance of capturing a world title or even being competitive against a champion or top contender.
You can’t throw Benn in with a top five welterweight like Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis and expect him to win or be competitive. Even if Benn was the Superman that we saw against the likes of Chris Algieri, he’d be food for Boots, Roiman Villa, or Eimantas Stanionis. There are levels in boxing.
Just say you don’t care
“I realized just how dirty the sport is. It doesn’t really matter. He’s fighting, and I’m sure plenty of other guys at the top of the sport in his own weight class are dirty too,” said Paulie Malignaggi to Boxing King Media about Conor Benn.
“Does it really matter? It’s starting to matter less and less, unfortunately. He ate too many eggs. Canelo ate too much Mexican meat. Tyson Fury ate too much wild boar. At what point do you say, ‘Wow, how ridiculous is this?’ Are we really really going to keep on hearing this and believing it and falling for it?
“Just say you don’t care and let them fight because they generate a lot of money, and I’ll respect you more for it. That’s what I’ll do. You know what the problem here is.
“In boxing, there’s a lot more of this kind of stuff going on than people realize. Just because a guy failed the test doesn’t mean he’s the only guy, and doesn’t mean he’s a one-off.
“There’s probably more doing it than not doing it, especially at a world-class level. Let’s face it, if guys at a world-class level of doing it, how do other guys at a world class level get to their world class?
“There’s such little being done to fight this. I hate to say it, but either you have everybody give up and have a major punishment, or you let them all fight and stop pretending you care,” said Malignaggi.
Benn will have a lot of anxiety
“You’re seeing the situations where guys, if they have enough money, they can just beat it. Eventually, the investigation they beat, and Conor Benn will probably beat it, just like anybody else with
money beats it,” said Malignaggi.
“I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure there, but I also think that Conor Benn is itching & chomping at the bit to come back. You got to see if he’s he if he’s shooting too strongly and over-committing the attack on the offense because he’s been wanting the press for so long or if he’s going to come back calm and look to show what he’s made of.
“Conor Benn is a good fighter, but I’m curious to see how he’s going to come back. Not because I don’t think he’s going come back and look good, but of course, you’re going to have that anxiety.
“You want to show people how good you are now. You hate that people wrote you off and all that other stuff. So you’re going to be looking to make a statement, but you’ve got I do it in a calm manner, so let’s see how he does it on Saturday night,” said Malignaggi.