Now that the dust has begun to settle on the Conor Benn and Chris Eubank fight week drama, Frank Warren has had his say on the lessons that should be learned.
Last week, three days out from the event, news broke that there had been a banned substance found in Benn’s system. The British Boxing Board of Control promptly announced that the fight was prohibited. The Queensbury promoter discussed the doping drama with IFL TV.
“The fact of the matter is, Conor tested positive and everyone was made aware of that on the 23rd of September by VADA … So how on earth did it get to where it got to? It’s just ridiculous and it was dangerous. It was really dangerous and handled terribly badly. It just brought boxing into disrepute.”
“I’m hearing that UKAD are going to ask VADA for the report and the sampling, so if they get that then they will take it over. And the unfortunate thing is, the man who’s going to get the brunt of all this is Conor. Now, he took the stuff, and if he took it, he’s over 21, he knows what he’s doing. That’s it. But somebody must’ve supplied him with it. You can’t buy it over the counter in a chemist … Somebody must’ve advised him to take it. So they should be brought to task too.”
Warren read the actual written rule from the BBBofC’s terms which allowed them to pull the fight. On the promoters’ deliberations on staging the fight regardless, he said it painted the sport in a bad light.
“Boxers need protecting from themselves, and that’s what the boxing board of control are there for, and that’s what managers, trainers, and promoters are there for. We’re in a position of responsibility, you have to accept the responsibility – not keep thinking about the money. Fine, everyone makes some money on the night, god forbid anything goes wrong the fighter doesn’t know where the money is or what money is. You can’t be having that happen it’s just ridiculous.”
“It’s just madness for this thing, I cannot tell you the damage it’s done. I mean you’ve only got to read all the newspapers, go online, whatever – it’s done so much damage to the sport.”
Strong words, but ones that are echoed by many fans after last weeks’ events. We expect news in the coming weeks from Benn and the Anti-Doping agencies.