The head of Showtime Boxing, Stephen Espinoza, has criticised Eddie Hearn and Kalle Sauerland’s attempts to proceed with the Eubank-Benn fight, following Conor Benn’s positive drugs test.
In an interview with Fight Hub TV, Espinoza claimed that the actions of both Hearn, Sauerland, and Conor Benn were an ‘embarrassment to the sport, with many fans and promoters alike believing that the fight should have been cancelled instantly after the news of the findings from the VADA test.
“I think it’s absolutely indefensible to pretend like this is a non-issue and to pretend like this is something that [fight] should go forward because of procedural issues. At the end of the day, you can’t paint both sides of the fence. You can’t say, when it works in your favour, that VADA is great and when it works against you, say that it should be ignored.”
“The reality is, that it’s stuff like this that prevents the sport from growing even more and puts an undue risk on the fighters. It’s indefensible and it’s an embarrassment to the sport.”
Espinoza went on to detail how improved communication is required regarding drug testing – between fighters, promoters, and governing bodies – in order to make the sport safer and to avoid future situations that are similar to what we have witnessed over the last week.
“I think there needs to be more clarity, I know some of the U.K. laws, they have very different privacy laws than us [United States], so it’s a complicated situation. I think there needs to be more clarity and transparency, I think that there has to be automatic notification, certainly of the opponent and every governing body, any time any test is failed. Whether that is UKAD, whether it Is VADA, whether it’s a U.S. state commission, there should be transparency. “
At the moment, Conor Benn’s case is pending investigation and it is important that fans hear his side of the story. However, pressure doubled this morning following a new story from Mail Sport with claims of an investigation into a second failed test.