Conor Benn is ready to make the jump to world level and beyond. The highly touted son of British boxing great Nigel turned over with limited amateur experience but is finally getting to grips with the pro game.
The hard-hitting welterweight will face a career litmus test when he meets former IBO title-holder Sebastian Formella at the SSE Arena in Wembley on Saturday night.
German Formella (22-1, 10 KOs) went the distance with two-time world champion Shawn Porter last time out and will provide a true measuring stick of Benn’s progress to date. A revitalised Benn (16-0, 11 KOs) insists he is ready to leave a lasting impression.
“My life has changed drastically over the last six months,” said Benn, 24. “Now that I’ve got a son coming it gives you a different perspective on life. I came into this game at 19. I haven’t got big amateur pedigree. It’s all learning. There’s no ceiling to my career so I think that’s the exciting thing about it.
“What’s great is the British public gets to see me blossom right before their eyes. From a novice who had a debut, to having a terrible second fight, to then knocking out a three-time European Title challenger and now fighting Sebastian Formella.
“Is it all going to be smooth sailing? No, of course it isn’t. At the end of the day, you’ve got the appreciate the downs and the ups, because that’s what makes the ups so special. This is all about legacy and striving for greatness.
“We’ve got a world level opponent in Sebastian Formella. His only loss came against Shawn Porter and, as we all know, he lost on points. It’s a tough fight and a massive step up but I don’t believe he’s got anything that I need to worry about.
“Is he tricky? Is he this, is he that? Is he well experienced? Is he a 33-year-old man who’s just lost to Porter on points? I plan on going in there and making a statement, it doesn’t really bother me. They said the same about [Jussi] Koivula, people thought I was going to lose. He was a three-time European Title challenger, I banged him out in two.
“I’ll rise to the occasion. It’s all learning. It’s all growing. It’s a rollercoaster journey and god willing, I do the job on November 21. Is this a massive test? Yeah. Do I think I’m ready? Yeah, yeah, I do. Am I going to go in there and try to stop him, to let him know what I’m about? Yeah, I am. I plan on introducing myself to the world stage. This is the sort of fight that does that.
“I plan on really taking it to him. It doesn’t take a lot to get me going. With or without a crowd, a fight is a fight. I plan on winning this fight in true Benn style. I’ll find a way to win. Come November 21, I plan on showing exactly what I’m made of.”
Main image: Matchroom Boxing.