One year on from their bout being pulled at the last minute, Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn appear set to take their rivalry inside the ropes.
The much-hyped 2022 event was cancelled and plunged into controversy when news broke that Benn had failed a doping test in the lead-up. It was later revealed to be the second for the banned substance, Clomiphene.
Since then Eubank has lost and won against Liam Smith, raising his stock with the rematch stoppage. Benn has been fighting battles outside of the ring, looking to convince fans of his innocence.
A provisional suspension from the UK Anti-Doping Agency and the British Boxing Board of Control has been lifted following a hearing, and whilst the two organisations prepare to appeal that verdict, the 26-year-old has made his ring return.
The low-key affair in Florida shook the cobwebs off to prepare for the Eubank fight, and Mail Sport – the same outlet that broke news of Benn’s first failed test twelve months ago – is reporting that promoter Eddie Hearn has secured a deal in the Middle East to stage the fight on December 23.
Hearn’s first choice is the Principality Stadium in Cardiff given it’s an all-British affair, but ongoing conversations with the Board and the National Anti-Doping Panel may not be resolved in time.
In fact, journalist Riath Al-Samarrai states that it may not be until December or January until the appeal is heard with a final verdict to follow still.
The event, should it go ahead, has the potential to clash with one of the biggest fights in the sport – an undisputed bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
The promotion behind that Saudi Arabia based show is waiting for Fury’s fight with MMA star, Francis Ngannou, to be over before confirming an official date.