Conor Benn says former world super-lightweight champion Maurice Hooker has turned down the opportunity to fight him in April.
The 32-year-old Texan, who lost to Vergil Ortiz Jr last time out, was the front-runner to be Benn’s next opponent but now the unbeaten British welterweight must look elsewhere.
“He don’t want the smoke,” Benn told Boxing Social’s Andi Purewal.
“Unfortunately, he turned down the offer three times. We thought it was a money thing, so you keep raising the bar in terms of money and he don’t want it, he bottled it. That’s that.”
Benn then revealed that an old opponent of current unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr is now in the frame to take the fight.
“I’m hearing it may be [Chris] Van Heerden which I fancy. I’ll fight anyone, it don’t really matter to me. It’s a matter of my team making the right decisions and they do just that.”
Van Heerden, 34, has a record of (28-2-1, 12 KOs) and lost to Spence in eight rounds over six years ago. The South African southpaw last fought in December 2020 when he challenged the highly regarded Jaron Ennis for the American’s IBO welterweight title. The fight, however, was ruled a No-Decision in the first round following an accidental clash of heads resulting in a severe cut to Van Heerden’s forehead.
Benn’s next fight date had been planned for April 23. That now looks like being put back a week to the 16th to avoid clashing with the WBC heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte which is rumoured for the 23rd.
Click here to watch the rest of Boxing Social’s interview as Benn discusses the possibility of fighting Chris Eubank Jr in the future and this weekend’s fight between stable-mate John Ryder and Danny Jacobs.