Eddie Hearn, who was days away from promoting what he said could potentially be a record-breaking event, has provided some insight behind its postponement.
News that Conor Benn, Hearn’s fighter, had been found to have traces of a banned substance in his system threw the event into jeopardy. Ultimately, and despite the promoter’s efforts, a damning statement from the British Boxing Board of Control stopped it proceeding as planned.
Benn and Chris Eubank Jr’s family-feud-fight is now postponed, rather than cancelled, according to the Matchroom and Wasserman promotional companies. Hearn spoke to DAZN to provide more clarity – admitting that reaction to the news played a part in the decision.
“We made the decision to postpone the fight. I want to make it clear that Conor Benn is not suspended by the BBBofC. We do feel that he hasn’t received due process in this situation like others before him. But at the same time, I’ve been involved in this sport since I was 8 years old, it’s a sport we love, you see the feedback and we understand that some things have to be explored and some answers have to be found.”
“Ultimately, we had many options to get this fight on. I’ve read a lot of stuff in the press ‘we were in court today for an injunction’ – not true, we were considering other commissions – not true. But we could of. But at the same time we understand we have an obligation to make sure that everything is right.”
“For me this fight is postponed. This has been just the most tremendous build up. I want to make this fight, but at the same time people want answers … All the fighters on the undercard will be rescheduled over the next few days.”
When asked what was next for Connor Benn, his promoter confirmed that he’s clear to fight but wants to make sure ‘everybody is comfortable’ first.
“That’s a good question and that’s an answer for the BBBofC. He’s not suspended because when we talk about recognising VADA testing, it’s not a criticism of VADA testing, we employ VADA testing for our fights, nobody tests more fighters than Matchroom. We want a clean sport but also we follow the rules of our commission and right now he’s not suspended, ultimately he’s clear to fight. Rather than jump through a loophole to make this fight happen through the courts we want to make sure that everybody is comfortable.”
Benn, his trainer, and his father have released statements promising to ‘get to the bottom’ of the drug test drama and clear his name.