Chris Eubank Jr has been heavily linked to a fight against Conor Benn in Abu Dhabi, with June 3rd being touted as a potential date for the rivals to settle their differences.
However, Eubank may actually be denied permission from the British Boxing Board of Control to fight Benn, due to the latter’s ongoing battle with the organisation over his two failed drugs tests last year.
Speaking to The Guardian, BBBofC Secretary Robert Smith said it would be “unlikely” that Eubank would be granted approval to face Benn as things stand.
“If the situation remains as it is today then I would think that would be unlikely. But we have not had any applications.
Permission might be withheld for lots of reasons. We won’t unreasonably withhold it but have to take into account the relevant factors that we know at the time of application. Each case is different.
If any British licence holder – boxer, trainer, etc – wants to fight in a tournament abroad with another commission they have to apply to us for permission.
I think common sense prevails. We have a boxer who has recorded positive dope tests who hasn’t been cleared so it would be disrespectful to the sport.”
Eubank Jr had been expected to face Liam Smith for a second time next, with reports emerging a few weeks ago that he had activated the contractual rematch clause after being comprehensively stopped by Smith in January.
However, sixth months on from when Benn’s two failed VADA tests saw their original meeting scrapped, he now appears to be the frontrunner for ‘The Destroyer’s comeback bout.
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that any fight between the pair would take place at the middleweight limit of 160lbs, as opposed to the controversial 157lbs catchweight that was in place first time around.