Conor Benn, as per his promoter Eddie Hearn, will address the media this week to hopefully shed some light on the positive doping test that had his fight with Chris Eubank Jr pulled at the last minute.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, Hearn confirmed that his fighter would speak on the situation in the coming days following weeks of speaking to legal teams and scientists. British boxing fans are still reeling from the news that Benn had a banned substance in his system in the lead up to his heavily-hyped fight with Chris Eubank Jr.
After saying he would make a statement soon, the promoter reiterated his belief that Benn was innocent.
“This week they’ll hear from Conor Benn. And I’ll tell you what Ally, it’s really difficult, because everybody will plead their innocence, right? When you’ve got a kid that you’ve known for six, seven years, who virtually lives with Tony Simms … Who spent thirteen, fourteen weeks with his dad living in his house, who comes into your office breaking down on the floor, pleading his innocence, looking you in [your] eyes … and when you see the facts, I believe that Conor Benn is innocent in this case.”
“Now listen, maybe it’s because he’s my mate and maybe it’s because you back your mates. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen more than you’ve seen, both in his eyes and on the paper. But, all I’m saying is, give him an opportunity for things to be heard.”
“One thing I want you take away from this is, if you are getting tested seven or eight times during a nine week process, and four or five of your other tests from UKAD come back as negative, and trace amounts are found in your system, you cannot be on a performance enhancing cycle. It’s simple.”
“A kid you’ve known 6 or 7 years…”
“He comes to your office, breaking down on the floor and pleading his innocence.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) October 26, 2022
Many in the sport agree that it’s simple, but perhaps not in the way Hearn is trying to put across. There has been a host of loud voices calling for Benn to be banned regardless of the details surrounding why or how the substance was in his system.
Having said that, Hearn also said that the young welterweight would present a very compelling argument. Benn and his team – including father Nigel and Trainer Tony Simms have maintained that he is a clean fighter despite the only information available suggesting otherwise. He’s had support from some others in the sport, too, including a somewhat unlikely backer in Chris Eubank Sr.
Whether or not the further information that Benn provides will change opinions remains to be seen, and we await an update on the investigation being conducted by the UK Anti-Doping Agency – who are working with the organisation that found the banned substance, VADA, for their inquiry.