Big Boots To Fill: Can Conor Measure Up To The Dark Destroyer?

By Keeran Rajan

We are taking a closer look at the man who has is carrying an enormous load on his shoulders and that weight is being the son of a British boxing legend. As Conor Benn prepares for his ninth professional engagement against Nathan Clarke this weekend in front of 21,000 at The Manchester Arena. We analyse how the journey has gone so far and what it possibly holds for the future.

‘The Dark Destroyer’ himself, Nigel Benn himself has voiced rave views on his sons progress arguing both his emotional and physical make up totally pales in direct comparison with what he possessed at the same early stages of their respective careers, furthermore Nigel even went as far as to tip him for greatness suggesting ‘Conor will be bigger than me someday’ …High praise indeed but there is still much to factor in before it even becomes conceivable that Conor could surpass Nigel’s legacy but much has been said of Conor, many expect the young undefeated welterweight who packs a big punch, to go straight to the top with his fan friendly aggression minded game plan, Conor exhibits the primal fighting style that always gets people out of their seats.

Similarly to his father, Conor is a man who looks to dictate the pace and look to force the man opposite him into exchanging the leather. This has ensured that Conor has continued to build his brand reeling off eight successive victories while also boasting an all important 75% knockout ratio. Of course, while it is plain to see the opposition he has faced are of subpar quality, its key to note his progress as a fighter since his debut. In the developmental stages of Conor’s career, we’ve seen him vastly improve several aspects of his game most notably his patience and ability to think in the midst of the storm have come into play. We have also seen him improve his punch selection, punch variety, footwork and his ability to be elusive.

Matchroom Boxing – Benn’s promoters currently hold one of the most exciting rosters of fighters in world boxing, they will play a key role in Conor’s progress as they continue to build his brand in terms of what they decide is his next move.
Whether they continue to bring him through the ranks gradually or if Conor is forced to endure an acid test sooner rather than later, which has been a common occurrence at Matchroom with notable mismatches inside the last year such as Brook vs Golovkin, Crolla vs Linares and Davies vs Taylor to name a few, have left Matchroom fighters seemingly out of their depth with a higher quality calibre of opponent than they were used to and ended up on the end of a one sided pummelling, this is a mistake that promoter Eddie Hearn should not look to replicate again, rushing a fighter into a fight where he is overmatched can be a mentally harrowing experience for the fighter on a personal level and it will stagnate his career which is still in its very early stages.

The potential is clearly there but it will be pivotal to see whether Conor hones his ability and maximises the potential he has. But coming from a lifelong ‘Dark Destroyer’ fan … Exceeding the career accomplishments of a 2-weight world champion in Nigel who beat numerous hall of fame fighters like Gerald McClellan and Iran Barkley. While it must be
said Conor is showing great promise and could perhaps challenge for a world title in the not too distant future.

On the other hand, It does seem a little too farfetched at this point as Nigel was one of those fighters who came from nothing and literally was one of those dangerous fighters who pack a big punch and have the mindset of having nothing to lose similarly to a Jack Dempsey, Roberto Duran or a Mike Tyson and that intensity is not something that can
be inherited in my opinion, especially when you have come from a privileged background and have grown up in expensive villas in places such as Australia and Spain. Are we really sure Conor will have the eye of the tiger when it comes to crunch time?

Are we really sure Conor will have the eye of the tiger when it comes to crunch time?

That’s the reservation on the man but for as long as it lasts, it is going to be an exciting
time for British boxing to follow his ongoing journey.