Despite last year’s utter debacle that saw Eddie Hearn publicly embarrass himself with desperate attempts to keep Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn intact, Matchroom’s boss has been eager to put the fight back together. We could see it sooner than expected, as the Mail Sport (apologies) reports that Eubank and Benn have a deal to meet on December 23rd in the Middle East.
You’ll recall that Matchroom listed December 23rd in Abu Dhabi as a potential home for Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs Kevin Gonzalez on Monday.
Hearn wants it in Cardiff, but that’s almost certainly off the table if they’re going to meet in the next few months.
Mail Sport understands some clarity on Benn’s immediate future is expected next week, when a meeting will determine which arbitration body will hear the appeal raised by the British Boxing Board of Control and UK Anti-Doping against the decision made by the National Anti-Doping Panel in July to lift his suspension.
Sources have indicated to Mail Sport that it could be December or January before such an appeal is heard, let alone resolved.
Benn (22-0, 14 KO) ended his involuntary 17-month layoff a few weeks back with a one-sided if not particularly inspiring decision over Rodolfo Orozco. That fight was his 154-pound debut and his punches didn’t seem to have quite the venom they did at welterweight, though Orozco was admittedly tough as nails.
A few weeks prior, Eubank (33-3, 24 KO) got some luster back by stopping Liam Smith in their rematch, though that came with the caveat of Smith clearly coming in with a compromised leg.
The matchup is a shadow of its former self, but it seems Hearn’s confident the name value and novelty can still sell it. Confident enough to continue thumbing his nose at the various British commissions, at least.