Chris Eubank Sr has called on the sport of boxing to identify and punish the people who attempted to have his son’s fight with Conor Benn go ahead after it was known that Benn had tested positive for a banned substance.
Fans, pundits, and fighters were stunned that, when news broke of Benn’s drug test, the event wasn’t pulled immediately. Instead, it appears that promoters Eddie Hearn and Kalle Sauerland spent a day deliberating on how to keep the event alive.
There has also been questions raised about the way Benn’s doping test was made public – would we ever know if the Daily Mail hadn’t broken the story? Eubank Sr, who was an outspoken critic of the fight even before this drama, told TalkSPORT that ‘the group’ behind the scenes must be identified.
“Who had the power to actually keep it quiet? We have to find out who the group is. You say who do I think it is? I don’t know who it is, but I’m saying to you we can find out by seeking. Whoever this group is we’ve got to shine [a light on them.]”
“[They were going to go ahead] Irrespective of the governing bodies. How brazen these people must be to actually take on the governing bodies. So the governing bodies are now under a spotlight because of they people who they bowed to, and respected, and listened to their wrong words. So all we’ve got to do now – I’m not going to do it – we’ve got to find out who instigated and engineered all of these things. Because they have happened.”
As for Benn’s test, and despite believing the young man to be innocent, Senior says that, if there is a ban it should be for the whole team and not just the fighter.
“Wouldn’t it be sensible that if a fighter fails a drug test, then the entire team should also be banned? He can’t be doing it to himself. He can’t be administering himself. He has to have handlers. So, if a man is banned, it shouldn’t be the boxer, it should be the entire team with the boxer.”
Of course, the fight was ultimately postponed, and still holds that status now – however it’s widely thought that, unless Benn can clear his name or provide good reason for the banned substance, that will quickly turn to cancellation and he may face a serious ban.