Conor Benn’s focus on his WBC investigation and reported disregard for the one being conducted by the British Board of Control could see him never fight in his home country again.
The undefeated welterweight’s career has been in limbo ever since news of a failed doping test broke during fight week of his scheduled Chris Eubank Jr bout.
Whilst the tests were carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency and not the BBBofC’s chosen organisation, the UK Anti-Doping Agency, the Board stepped in to prohibit the fight.
The Board’s General Secretary, Robert Smith, has now told TalkSPORT that Benn must prove his innocence to them despite the test not being taken under their guidance.
“He will not box on one of our shows in this country until he proves his innocence. To us and to UKAD. UKAD act on our behalf, so we take advice from UKAD.”
“The difference between VADA and UKAD is VADA do the tests, but don’t do any discipline. UKAD do the disciplinary matters and we take it on board because, like every other sport in the country, we’ve signed up with them.”
It’s known that Benn relinquished his British boxing license before a misconduct hearing not long after the postponement of the Eubank fight.
Despite that, many in the sport have claimed he could still fight in the UK under a different license. Smith said that the Board would still have to be involved in some capacity, and that they would block that if no more information came their way regarding the tests.
“He will not box here in this country until he’s proved that there is an explanation. He was licensed by us at the time, he has to explain the reason. There may be a very valid explanation…
“Anybody in the same situation would not box here. Even if you’re a foreign boxer licensed by Nevada, we have to licence them here for our insurance purposes. We still have to give approval.”
Despite this substantial threat, Benn has been focused on the WBC’s investigation. The first failed test was understood to have been taken as part of their Clean Boxing Programme, and he has provided the sanctioning body with 270 pages of evidence that he believes will clear his name.
Early reports say that their verdict will be favourable and that he will be reinstated in the rankings, but, for Benn, the British problem remains.