Conor Benn wasn’t in the mood for interviews – or one in particular at least – when attending his first high profile boxing event since his doping scandal began.
The 26-year-old welterweight’s career was halted last year when news broke of a failed drugs test – later revealed to be his second of 2022 – and he’s been in limbo ever since.
His fight with Chris Eubank Jr was prohibited in the aftermath, and his battles turned to outside of the ropes rather than in.
Whilst Benn maintains his innocence and has been reinstated into the WBC’s rankings after an investigation, the fighter still finds himself on trial by fans and media.
That was always going to manifest itself when he was next at a show, and it did just that in the crowd of the Anthony Joshua versus Jermaine Franklin card.
Approached by talkSPORT’s Gareth Davies, Benn slapped the microphone rather than give an interview. Davies took the hint and left the fighter to his own space.
😳 Watch the moment Conor Benn SLAPPED the mic out of Gareth. A. Davies’ hand#JoshuaFranklinpic.twitter.com/uhaE1TnxxS
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) April 1, 2023
It perhaps represents the fighters feelings towards a media who have refused to let his dealings out of the headlines, the consensus being that the British Boxing Board of Control are the rightful jury and that, until they conclude an investigation, the story remains.
Benn is set to return to the ring on June 3 in the Middle East, but an opponent is yet to be announced and more complications may yet be put in place by the UK governing body.
The names on the list are Chris Eubank Jr, Kell Brook and Manny Pacquiao. Whoever is in the opposite corner, a fight is likely to go ahead. Whether or not that does anything for Benn’s reputation remains to be seen.