It seems that the UK isn’t the only place Conor Benn may be shunned from as he looks set to continue his career.
The 26-year-old twice tested positive for a World Anti Doping Agency listed banned substance last year. Since then he has claimed innocence, backed by his promoter, Eddie Hearn.
Despite the WBC allowing Benn back into its rankings after finding insufficient evidence of ‘intentional ingestion’, the British Boxing Board of Control have reached no conclusion and believe the fighter hasn’t been cooperative in their investigation.
This has led Hearn – who is adamant Benn will return to the ring on June 3 – to look overseas to stage his comeback. Possible opponents include Chris Eubank Jr, Kell Brook and Manny Pacquiao.
So will foreign commissions and governing bodies get involved?
Sports journalist, Sean Nam, shared a statement from head of the California Commission, Andy Foster.
Nam presented Foster’s ruling in direct contrast to quotes he attributes to Hearn that many US commissions are ‘happy’ with the process Benn went through before fighting again.
“We’re not satisfied. We have the utmost respect for the World Boxing Council. We work with Margaret Goodman and VADA all the time. While we appreciate and respect their testing, we have reciprocation agreements and we work with the British Boxing Board of Control on a very regular basis.
Until the BBBofC is satisfied with the findings, the California commission will not be open to licensing Conor Benn for an event. He needs to clear up his investigation with the governing body in Britain.”
Eddie Hearn has suggested that many major US commissions are "happy" with the process that Conor Benn went through with the WBC re his two positive drug tests.
California certainly isn't one of them, as its head Andy Foster unequivocally told me in a statement. pic.twitter.com/1pxDwg6hwp
— Sean Nam (@seanpasbon) March 31, 2023
Benn’s next fight is set for Abu Dhabi and would need permission from the Dubai Boxing Commission. It’s understood that the California Commission has not been approached to license the fighter.
The statement comes following comments from the British Board’s General Secretary, Robert Smith, via The Guardian.
Smith claimed that the board may have influence even when Benn and Hearn pursue a fight overseas, using the example of Eubank Jr as a British licensed fighter.
Whilst Benn is seemingly not interested in having a relationship with his home country’s governing body, Eubank may need to declare the same in order to be in the opposite corner.
Speaking to Boxing Social, Hearn branded the Board’s latest involvement as ‘wild.’