Promoter Eddie Hearn has said that it’s great news his fighter, Conor Benn, has been reinstated into the WBC’s rankings, however is holding off on an official statement whilst Benn’s lawyers look into the way in which he was cleared by the organisation.
The WBC today released the results of their investigation into one of two failed doping tests by Benn for the banned substance, Clomiphene.
They concluded that whilst there was no reason to suspect laboratory contamination or tampering, there was ‘no conclusive evidence’ that the fighter had intentionally ingested the drug. In their summing up of the case, the organisation pointed to a ‘highly-elevated consumption of eggs’ to be a reasonable explanation.
Benn will be reinstated into their rankings as well as provided a nutritionist in an attempt to avoid any such test results happening in the future.
Hearn has stood by his fighter’s side since the news of the failed tests broke, and he told Boxing Social that he would await his reaction to the WBC’s statement before making one himself.
“Firstly, great that he’s been cleared by them and returns to the rankings … I’ve just voice-noted our lawyer to say ‘what do you want us to say?’ and he said ‘nothing, until Conor’s legal team have reviewed and decided what they want to do.’
Obviously they have an opinion on this ruling that they might be happy with, they might not be happy with. So, fantastic, back in the rankings, resume the career. Now we have to look at the route forward, but I can’t tell you too much at the moment until Conor and his legal team decide how they want to handle that statement and that ruling.”
Benn still has an investigation with the British Boxing Board of Control, though, with many fans believing that it holds more weight than the WBC’s equivalent.
He relinquished his license ahead of a misconduct hearing, and the General Secretary, Robert Smith, has since said that he’s unlikely to box in this country until he provides them with evidence in regards to the doping tests.
Hearn said that they may now look to approach the BBBofC to begin the dialogue about Benn competing on home soil once again.
“People also don’t understand that the reason Conor Benn didn’t renew his license is because they wanted to fine him for something that wasn’t in relation to the tests. It was a misconduct charge. He has to decide now whether he wants to fight under the British Boxing Board of Control or fight under another license, fight internationally.
I would like him to fight under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control. There’s a lot of ego involved now. I’ve seen a lot of people come out and do interviews after never doing interviews before in their life. So, can he get a fair crack of the whip? I don’t know. I hope so. Because I was like him to fight in this country.”
The promoter then talked return date, with April the earliest and June the latest. Again, it will depend on what happens with the BBBofC.
“I want him to box in April, May, June at the very latest. And, honestly, subject to the conversations with the British Boxing Board of Control, I don’t know if we would have a hearing in time to get a decision by then.
It’s not my decision, this is a decision for Conor Benn whether he wants to work with the British Boxing Board of Control. There’s also a few legal cases that will be ensuing around this, and he’s got to decide his position. But, positive news for him today is back in the rankings and clear to box in that respect.”
There will be plenty more to come on the WBC’s ruling and the wider effect it will have on Benn’s career and his ability to box as a home fighter.