Conor Benn Returns To Ring Saturday, Seeking Redemption



Conor Benn Returns To Ring Saturday, Seeking Redemption
Photo by Melina Pizano/Matchroom

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.

Wikipedia entry snippet for Conor Benn, British boxer

“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.

Ryan O'Hara took Conor Benn to task for his response to testing positive

Conor Benn tested positive for a PED, and continues to proclaim his innocence, despite there being evidence suggesting he's prevaricating

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.

Conor Benn physique pre PED positive

Pre PED positive, yeah, Benn was bulkier. So when he popped, jaws didn't exactly drop all over the place…

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.

Conor Benn looks in the mirror, in Florida

Conor Benn Conor Benn looks in the mirror, in Florida, at the Downtown Orlando Boxing Gym. Photo by Ed Mulholland

“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.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.