In a catastrophic day for British boxing, Conor Benn has tested positive in VADA drug testing ahead of his mammoth fight with Chris Eubank Jr which was set to take place this Saturday.
Despite the news – plus a damning statement from the British Boxing Board of Control that ‘prohibited’ the fight and stated ‘it wasn’t in the interests of boxing’ – promoter Eddie Hearn has not ruled out the fight from taking place.
Shortly after the board revealed their official position, Hearn joined the broadcast of the public workout to provide the latest update regarding the fight and the findings of the VADA test.
“We’ve just seen the British Boxing Board of Control’s statement, which is pretty straightforward. It’s with the lawyers going backwards and forwards right now. Both guys signed up to a multitude of testing for this fight. The UKAD testing, which is obviously the testing agency that the British Boxing Board of Control use and are governed by, have all been clear and negative – and there was an adverse testing on a VADA test previously. So, there’s not been an official doping violation, there’s a process that has to be gone through.”
“Conor Benn is not suspended by the BBBofC, ultimately he can’t be, because he has passed all the tests from UKAD. But clearly the BBBofC will take a position on it. We will deal with the lawyers. Both camps have been made aware, of course, previously to the article coming out about the situation and both camps are prepared to progress with the fight, but ultimately the conversations have to be had with the lawyers, the teams and the BBBofC.”
“From Eubank’s side and from Conor Benn’s side, they feel that the fight should progress. He’s not suspended by the BBBofC, but ultimately they’re the governing body and we will have to have conversations with them, through the lawyers and see where this process ends.”
On the topic of both sides agreeing for the fight to go ahead, Hearn provided some clarity on the behind the scenes conversations.
“This is not Wasserman and Eubank saying ‘yeah, we will just crack on.’ They have examined the adverse findings, they’ve had medical advice from experts regarding these trace findings and are prepared … to proceed with the bout. Everybody is comfortable with what they have seen from that side.”
Finally, he addressed Benn and what the situation means for him currently.
“It’s a very difficult situation for him [Benn] , we’ve seen previously how people make their mind up without any news or information or evidence comes out. So it’s a very difficult time for him.”
Despite maintaining hope for Saturday’s pay-per-view card, Hearn admitted that ‘Eubank-Benn is the fight – if that doesn’t take place then nor will the show.’ There will likely be more news soon as to whether or not the fight, and subsequently the event will go ahead.
🗣️ @EddieHearn gives an update on #EubankJrBennpic.twitter.com/QYhKzbR4NC
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) October 5, 2022