The last time Conor Benn fought in a ring, for real, it was a lifetime ago.
He was on the ascent, son of a Brit legend, physique to marvel at, skills getting better as meaningful fights and purses were there for the taking. Benn beat Chris Van Heerden, and plans were then made for him to have a mini super fight, him against Chris Eubank Jr.
That didn’t happen. If you look to the Wikipedia to see why, there’s a very dry summation of that phase of Benn’s life.
“On 5 October 2022, a statement was released from the BBBofC declaring that Chris Eubank Jr. vs Conor Benn is prohibited from taking place on Saturday 8 October after Benn tested positive for clomifene.
“Benn's promoters released a statement saying, “Benn has not been charged with any rule violation, he is not suspended, and he remains free to fight.”
That summation could use some updating.
Conor Benn Reputation Took A Hard Beating
Conor Benn, holder of a 21-0 (14 KOs) record, with a scarlet asterisk attached to that in the mind of plenty, has been fighting every day since Oct. 5, 2022, at least, for his professional life and personal reputation.
Not to get bogged down in it, but his handling of his “ordeal” has been less than impressive.
One problem with his defense is your eyes.
People saw the progression of Benn’s body year to year, and hello, the pictures spoke loudly.
That physique was impressive and looked potentially store bought.
Anyway, that’s all basically behind Benn, outwardly anyway.
There’s in ring fighting to do, Saturday night, in Florida.
In a stealth card addition, we learned this AM that the 26 year old Benn is back; he will face one Rodolfo Orozco (32-3-3, 24 KOs; age 24; from Mexico) in Orlando.
Here is material from a Matchroom release:
Orozco is a seasoned campaigner despite his youthful age of 24, having made his professional debut at just 16. Standing at 6ft 1in, hard-hitting Orozco has 24 knockouts on his resumé and won his last two fights with successive stoppages including a fourth-round victory in Mexico City in June over compatriot, Eilan Treja Juarez.
But in Benn, Orozco faces a significant step-up with the Brit determined to put on an impressive performance to make up for lost time.
Benn was provisionally suspended back in April, effective as of March 15, when his fight with Chris Eubank Jr last October was postponed.
’The Destroyer’, however, was subsequently cleared in July by UKAD and the WBC, and his provisional suspension was lifted after an independent National Anti-Doping Panel review.
Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn said: “Conor Benn is back and I’m looking forward to seeing him pick up where he left off. He’s ready to go straight in for a big fight now but his trainer Tony Sims will be pleased to get him back sooner against a game opponent in Rodolfo Orozco. Conor is looking unbelievable in the gym and I cannot wait to see him back in the ring where he belongs on what is a fantastic fight card in Florida.”
The British Boxing Board of Control and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) orgs are against this fight, but the show is going onward. Though, of course, one must always leave that room for fate falling asleep at the wheel, and running shit off the road…
This is an attempted redemption tour, and I predict it will be strange to watch.
“I am undefeated in the ring, and in spirit,” said Benn, who is pictured in portraits by Ed Mulholland and Melina Pizano which, to me, suggest that there’s fighting going on in Benn’s head as he counts down to his ring comeback.
He has to have lingering doubts, or at least pesky questions, about who he is now. He’s been through a helluva self imposed wringer, it had to have been draining.
“A return on Saturday is a step closer to redemption,” Benn said to reporters. “After that, I'm putting the 147-160 pound divisions on notice.”
First things first. I’ll presume there’s stringent PED testing to pass.
And weight to be made. Then the fighting, the in-the-ring variety, can begin again.