Conor Benn: I’m a Promoter’s Dream; I’m the Most Wanted Man in Britain

Boxing Scene

Conor Benn is confident that his commercial appeal is bigger than ever.

The embattled welterweight from England is poised to return to the ring on Feb. 3 against New York’s Peter Dobson at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. It will be the second fight for Benn ever since it was revealed last year that he tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing drug clomifene on two separate occasions; both were administered by the respected voluntary drug-testing agency VADA. The revelation of one of those two tests led to the abrupt cancellation of his high-profile matchup with countryman Chris Eubank Jr in October of 2022, three days out from the night of the fight.

In a recent interview, Benn spoke about his frustrations about landing a “big fight,” especially in the wake of his failure to strike a deal with Eubank; the two had been revisiting talks to fight each other in February.  

“I’m a promoter’s dream,” Benn told Boxing Social. “What more do you want me to do? I’m the most wanted man in Britain. Most wanted man in the welterweight division. [Devin] Haney, from [Kell] Brook, from Eubank, from Gervonta [Davis], from [Josh] Taylor, from [Josh] Kelly. What more do you want me to do? Even I think Broner once said [he wanted to fight me], then Pacquiao, it’s like what do you want me to do?

“I ain’t for a year and a half and I’m still there. Still at the tips of people’s tongues, still at the forefront of people’s minds for these mega fights. You know, so it’s like it’s frustrating not because of Eubank, I couldn’t care less about him. Just a big name. Just anyone. Like anyone of the names mentioned. Let’s make it happen.

“Yeah you can say it’s frustrating for me,” Benn continued. “I know everyone wants the big fights. But for some reason them fights aren’t happening. It is what it is. I do my part, I do my job. I stay in the gym, I stay working, I stay learning, I apply myself, dedicate myself, irrelevant of all the drama, irrelevant of all the noise, I do my job. As hard as it is, I do what I’m supposed to do and no one can ever discredit that.”

Benn has been at belligerent odds with the British Boxing Board of Control and United Kingdom Anti-Doping, with critics suggesting Benn has not done enough to clear his name. The brash welterweight, the son of British boxing great Nigel, has continually insisted that he is innocent, despite a marked failure to properly adhere to the protocols of those regulatory bodies.

Benn, indeed, remains unlicensed to fight in his native England. Though his suspension was revoked by the independent National Anti-Doping Panel earlier this summer, UKAD immediately appealed that decision.

But Benn’s promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, has shown that he is more than willing to find other jurisdictions that will accept Benn on a fight card. Benn returned to the ring for the first time in nearly 18 months against Rodolfo Orozco in the main event on a Matchroom-promoted card in Orlando, Florida.

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.

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