Conor Benn has apologised and expressed regret as to the way he treated fans in the aftermath of his failed doping tests.
The 26-year-old had his fight with Chris Eubank Jr pulled last year when news broke of a positive test for banned substance, Clomiphene. It was later revealed to be the second time the drug was found in Benn’s system.
He largely went silent, leaving speculation to run riot and many in the sport to brand him guilty. When he did speak, it was in a self-assertive manner to call out those who doubted him.
In an interview with Seconds Out, the undefeated welterweight first explained what led him to ‘bitterness.’
“For people to think I could be that guy… to go from this kid who’s worked hard and is one of the people, to all of a sudden become a serial liar and cheater over night – it’s hard for me to accept that people would see me that way.”
“I expected them to give me a chance. I expected them to hear me out and be more understanding, and I never got that.”
Benn then apologised to the public, saying they deserved more but that his legal situation complicated matters.
“I responded with a cold shoulder, and I never should’ve responded like that. But how do you tell a 26-year-old how to respond? The lawyers, who are anti-doping specialists, this is what they do, and they’re going ‘you can’t talk at the minute.'”
Really, the public did deserve more. It was hard, and I didn’t deal with it great. But I apologise and I do regret the way that I felt, the bitterness and the anger.”
More clarity is all boxing fans have asked for since day dot of the scandal and, unfortunately, there’s still information they aren’t privy to.
The hope is that that will change with Benn’s UKAD and British Board of Control hearing – currently without a date – and the saga can be concluded once and for all.
Later in the interview, he retracted previous statements about not wanting to fight in his home country.
“I just want to say one thing – I’d like to fight back home. Me saying in an interview I had no plans on returning to England immediately, I take that back. Because that’s my home, and there’s a lot of supporters there.
I’m not turning my back on them based on the minority that have a loud voice. So that’s one of the things I do take back, saying I’ve no interest in fighting there.”
Whilst fit and ready to fight overseas in the mean time, Benn is without a solid date or opponent.