Eddie Hearn seems to believe that the star-crossed, scuttled battle between Conor Benn Jr. (his embattled Charge) and Chris Eubank Jr. are still salvageable.
Benn and Eubank were slated to face each other last month in an intriguing 157-pound catchweight bout that had drawn large interest from the British sporting public because their fathers produced the country’s most fearsome boxing rivalry in the 1990s.
Three days after the fight, Benn, 26 years old, was revealed to have tested positive in laboratory for the banned substance Clomifene. Clomifene is a fertility drug which raises testosterone levels and doubles its effectiveness as a masking drug. The Daily Mail made the revelations.
The British Boxing Board of Control immediately issued a statement disqualifying the fight. Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Eubank’s promoter Kalle Sauerland, however, appeared intent on moving forward with the fight, whether via court injunction or using an outside commission. In the end, the fight was cancelled. Hearn and other handlers have been under scrutiny since the positive test results were known to all parties for almost two weeks prior to publication of the Daily Mail story. This led to suspicions that they were trying keep the results secret.
Later, the outlet revealed, adding fuel to fire, that Benn had actually tested positive earlier in the summer for clomifene.
In a recent interview, Hearn indicated that Benn’s hearing with the BBBofC had begun. Hearn suggested in recent weeks that he believes Benn’s charge could be vindicated by the results of a fair trial. Hearn seems to believe that Benn may not have to serve a ban if he does end up serving one. Hearn also expressed confidence that the Eubank fight would still be possible. The attraction of that fight will depend on Eubank’s ability to remain undefeated in the interim and, one imagines if the public will still be open to such a star-crossed, ethically corrupt match-up.
Eubank is also preparing for a fight against Liam Smith in December.
“If Eubank Jr. starts to lose fights to the likes of Liam Smith, that obviously impacts that fight, but at the end of the day … if Conor Benn receives a ban, he’s going to be fighting again,” Hearn told iFL TV. “Whether that’s, like I said, three months, six months, a year, whatever that is, and that will be from July. Conor will be back in the ring next summer or possibly even sooner, so that’s the latest, actually.
“And there’s every opportunity I believe looking at the facts that he gets no ban, so we’ll have to see how that plays out in a hearing. But one thing I do know is he’s going to be returning at some point in his life in a big fight and for me that’s still the Eubank Jr. fight. But obviously Eubank is not going to wait around until then, but if he loses that does impact the fight happening.”