Whilst Eddie Hearn continues to stand by Conor Benn’s innocence in the ongoing saga of his failed drug tests, he says that he will cut ties entirely if that turns out to be wrong.
British boxing fans are still reeling from the news that young welterweight Benn was found to have a banned substance in his system in the lead up to his fight with Chris Eubank Jr. Benn and his team remain firm on their stance that he is a clean athlete, and look likely to build a case around contamination in an attempt to get others to agree. Another man who has stayed onside is Eddie Hearn, Benn’s promoter.
The Matchroom boss told the Metro that he still believes Benn and his team, but mapped out the consequences if he’s proven wrong for doing so.
“If he has knowingly cheated, I not only never want to work with him again, I never want to see him again.”
“I’ve put my balls on the line for this kid because I believe in him and I’ve looked him in the eye on dozens of occasions since it happened with [trainer] Tony [Sims], with his Dad [former two-weight world champion Nigel], and I know how he conducts himself in life and I honestly believe he’s innocent.”
As for the stick he’s receiving off the back of the situation, Hearn is still adamant that more blames lies at the door of the British Boxing Board of Control. The board announced that they were prohibiting the fight just two days out, despite apparently being aware of at least one of the failed tests some time before.
“I do feel we’re getting the blame when we’re not the regulatory body, we contractually can’t cancel the fight at that stage. The whole thing was a mess, a disaster, and I take our reputation very seriously, I love this sport but with all the s*** we’ve put up with, all the bother, I don’t need it.”
“It’s soul-destroying when people accuse us of not respecting the sport. Conor’s reputation has to be rebuilt but I feel we’ve been shafted.”
It’s been a relatively quiet week for updates, which rather than signalling people are moving on, more likely means that the legal proceedings behind the scenes are ramping up. We expect more from Benn soon.