Unlike many fighters and pundits, Chris Eubank Sr is taking a sympathetic approach to the doping situation that Conor Benn finds himself in.
Earlier this month, Benn was due to fight Chris Eubank Jr in one of the most hyped and intriguing contests of the year. The rug was pulled from under the event when news broke that the young welterweight has been found to have a banned substance in his system.
Speaking exclusively to TalkSPORT, Eubank Sr says he is praying that Conor, son of his fighting rival Nigel, has his name cleared.
“We are fighters, and the public can’t see what we see … When I look at Conor, I don’t look at a man – because when I look at person I’m reading them, we’re fighters so we read people. What type of person is this person? He’s an honest man.”
“I believe he has the ability to clean up the world in his weight [class]. He has his father’s DNA in terms of that might, and he has the brains of a man who is reasonable. He’s a very well-spoken young man. I don’t hear him using bad language, I mean okay the odd [word] but that’s what the world does today.”
“I feel he has no idea what’s happened. Because a fighter doesn’t know fiddling and cheating. So he’s trusting and thinking that the person administering the help, whatever it is, whether it’s a juice or whether it’s putting a needle into someone’s knuckle – as I’ve seen, I’m not going to mention any names – he wouldn’t have any idea.”
“I pray for Conor. Because it can’t be him. You have to be deceitful in mind. Real boxers are not deceitful. He’s real – so he could never have administered anything to himself which was cheating. It would have been somebody else who he trusts.”
After a week of breaking news and more information, things have gone somewhat quiet on the part of Benn’s team. One assumes that legal wrangling is the cause, and that we can still expect the promised statement that will, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, surprise a lot of people.
Until then, and unfortunately for Benn, the father of his potential opponent remains one of the more understanding when it comes to the banned substance, with plenty of fans and fighters already labelling him the worst.