Eddie Hearn has continued to say that the ill-fated but much anticipated Conor Benn vs Chris Eubank Jr fight is close during various interviews – but Jr’s promoter Kalle Sauerland seems much less optimistic.
The all-British match-up was originally scheduled for October 8 in 2022 but was canceled after it was revealed Benn failed two drugs tests carried out by VADA.
Since Benn does not currently hold a British license, Abu Dhabi has long been mooted as a possible destination for the fight but, in the meantime, Chris Eubank Jr has fought and lost to Liam Smith before triggering a rematch clause.
That second fight was initially set for June, then for July, but an injury to Smith put it on ice and no third date has been announced.
At the time, Hearn said Eubank was instead “desperate” for the Benn fight. He has told Boxing Social that, dependant on Benn’s imminent doping verdict, the event could land at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 23.
Speaking to Boxing Social at the Josh Kelly press conference in Newcastle, Sauerland laid out the facts from his perspective.
“How can I have a discussion about Connor Benn when I don’t know a verdict? I can’t hedge Jr’s career on a verdict. It’s a massive fight, bigger than before, but right now it’s not on the table, just like when people asked me if it was happening in Abu Dhabi. There were no offers on the table. People thought I was playing a game but did it happen? No.”
He continued by admitting that he hopes the rematch with Smith goes ahead, but that he needs assurances for that to happen.
“Right now I can only go with what’s on the table, and by the way, Jr was supposed to fight a couple weeks ago. No, coming up to a month ago against Liam Smith in the rematch. But that was pushed back, and then there was another date and another date, and that didn’t happen. So is the level of trust the highest right now would you imagine? I put it about as high as the River Thames on a very hot day. Does it get made? I’m hopeful”
Sauerland certainly isn’t closing the door on a Benn fight in the future.
“If things change in the future, the Connor Benn fight is an interesting one, but we can’t wait for governing bodies and verdicts. I’m most looking forward to this chapter coming to an end, whatever the decision.
I’ve failed to make a single interview since October 6th where I’m not asked about Eubank vs Benn so it tells me how big the fight is. But right, now there is no Conor Benn discussion on the table.”
For now, the biggest fight on the horizon for Benn is to clear his name. News is expected this week as to his hearing with the UK Anti-Doping Agency.