Eddie Hearn has called the postponement of Conor Benn versus Chris Eubank Jr and the surrounding controversy his toughest time in boxing.
During fight week of what was sure to be one of the biggest sporting events of the year, the Daily Mail broke the news that Conor Benn had tested positive for a banned substance.
After some toing and froing with the powers that be, Hearn reluctantly postponed the bout, trashing all of the promotional work and undercard fights.
Whilst Benn took the brunt of the controversy, Hearn was called out by many fans and pundits for not pulling the plug sooner. In his defence, he claimed that the licensing board should have made that decision for him.
On his round up of the year via Matchroom’s YouTube channel, the promoter reflected on what went down in October.
“Probably the toughest time for me personally in boxing – and we’ve had some over the years. Some great highs, some tremendous lows, but Benn-Eubank definitely the one that kicked us in the nuts hardest.”
“As always, we leave the decisions to the British Boxing Board of Control. We felt we were a little bit let down in that process and we felt we were hung out to dry because no one else wanted to speak up.”
“We were looking at one of the best fights that I think we were going to see of the year. It was the biggest gate at the O2 – it had sold out quicker than we’d ever anticipated – and we were left gutted. Heartbroken. It took a long time to get over that. It wouldn’t go away. It’s still there because we want a resolution.”
As Hearn mentions, a resolution seems no closer. Whilst Benn has made it publicly clear that he has provided the evidence to clear his name – all 270 pages of it – the WBC have yet to conclude their investigation.
The outcome of that will determine whether or not he will be included in their title rankings, however perhaps the more significant case is the one currently in process from the British Boxing Board of Control and the UK Anti-Doping Agency.