The star of Conor Benn continues to rise. The increasingly impressive Benn decimated the battle-tested Samuel Vargas in just 80 seconds with a blistering bombardment of power and accuracy at the Copper Box Arena in Hackney, London, on Saturday evening.
Welterweight Benn’s development under the excellent Tony Sims has been something to behold, but his improvement appears to be accelerating rather than finding its level. Benn’s ceiling as a fighter is, as yet, unknown, but the ride promises to be wildly exciting.
The son of Nigel is now carving his own reputation. He annihilated a Vargas who had gone into the seventh with Texan banger Vergil Ortiz just nine months ago and done rounds with Errol Spence, Danny Garcia and Amir Khan previously. Impressing with a rapier jab, a razor-sharp Benn (18-0, 12 KOs) hurt Vargas with a flush right hand after 70 seconds and then unloaded with punch-perfect precision.
The Canadian-Colombian’s head flew back from a right uppercut with every shot seeming to send electric shocks right through him. Vargas (31-7-2, 14 KOs) was overwhelmed on the ropes when referee Bob Williams intervened.
Afterwards, a pumped-up Benn called for a fight with former world champion Amir Khan. He looks more than ready for that test and perhaps beyond.
“Give me a proper test. Give me Amir Khan,” said Benn in his post-fight interview. “I know he’s too busy on reality shows and all that, but listen if he wants it, he can get it. I’m ready for the top dogs. The Shawn Porters. I’ve seen Adrien Broner campaigning at 147. I want them. I want to test myself.
“I train hard for it. Again, you’re talking levels. It shows the level I’m at. Errol Spence, Danny Garcia, Vergil Ortiz, Amir Khan – nobody banged [Vargas] out like that. First round, first round! He came and he was game. He took my belt off me in the week and I had a little stare down with him.
“He was telling me he was ready to fight, and he was talking a good game. He said I had no power. It’s irrelevant because a lot of people can talk. My shots were landing flush. You could tell they were hurting him. When I first hit him it landed swiftly and I thought, ‘right, this is going to be a much quicker night than I thought’.
“I’ve been working on my power with my strength and conditioning coach Dan Lawrence. We’ve been working with Tony [Sims], endless hours. First to arrive last to leave. He’s always pushing me. I told you lot I’d knock him out in the first round. I was cool, calm and collected. I work so hard.”
Main image and all photos: Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing.