An emphatic and explosive performance from Conor Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) was too hot to handle for veteran Chris van Heerden last night as he ended the contest in two rounds at Manchester’s AO Arena.
‘The Destroyer’ lived up to his moniker and exploded out of the traps in round 1 with an appetite for destruction. ‘The Heat’ met fire with fire and caught the 25-year-old Benn counters and while boxing on the back foot.
Benn though paid no attention and threw every piece of his kitchen sink.
It had looked like we may be in for a longer night than expected after the opening stanza. Van Heerden had absorbed Benn’s haymakers and had found a footing in the fight. However, the British welterweight world title contender didn’t take his foot off the accelerator and with less than a minute into round 2 Benn caught the southpaw with a big right hand down the middle. Van Heerden staggered back to the ropes and had to repeat his showing of the previous session to stay in the fight. But his attempts at survival were soon at an end when the animalistic approach of Benn landed hooks, an uppercut and clubbed away with his right hand until his opponent was down.
Within a few seconds referee Steve Gray had seen enough and waved the fight off at 59 seconds into
Van Heerden, 34, rose to his feet, recovered, and shared a warm embrace with Benn afterwards.
Shortly afterwards Amir Khan was in the ring, several weeks on since his loss to Kell Brook in the same venue, after being invited by Benn. DAZN’s Ade Oladipo asked both if this was a fight that could be made.
“I think it’s about enjoying this time off,” said Khan who said the hunger to fight again may return.
“We know money always talks,” said Benn. “Every up-and-coming fighter wants to challenge the best of their time.”
Benn then took to the mic and asked the crowd if they wanted to see him fight Khan and their loud roar of approval was the answer.
“Anyone they put in front of me I deal with,” the winner added. “I go in there and try to take their head off. I’ll just get in there and iron them out.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn has said throughout the build-up that after van Heerden a massive fight is needed for Benn.
“The most important thing for Conor Benn next is a big, big fight and a step up,” said Hearn.
“When you demolish the opposition like that you need to make big jumps. This is an elite world welterweight fighter. Now we got to step up the opposition. We want a big fight, a marquee fight.”