Conor Benn has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing and will make his professional debut on the undercard of Anthony Joshua MBE’s IBF World Heavyweight title clash with Charles Martin at The O2 in London on April 9, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The 19 year old son of British boxing legend Nigel kicks off life in the paid ranks at Super-Lightweight under the guidance of trainer Tony Sims, and Conor says his goal is to outdo his iconic Dad’s incredible achievements as a two-weight World champion in the 90s.
“I feel at home with Tony. I trust him 100 per cent. He looks out for my best interests and in the gym, in the space of three months he’s changed me from fighting like a boy to fighting like a man. I don’t know how, but he’s done it, and that’s why he’s one of the top trainers in boxing, he’s turned me into a fighter and an animal.”
Nigel Benn won World titles at Middleweight and Super-Middleweight in his glittering career that saw ‘The Dark Destroyer’ pack stadiums and arenas and thrill huge TV audiences with his all-action style and brutal power.
The 51 year old will be in London next week for a press conference and will attend Conor’s debut, but says he will allow Conor to forge his own path in the game under the guidance of Hearn and Sims.
“Conor works with Eddie and Tony, I’m not going to get involved,” said Dad Nigel. “I just want Conor to know that if he needs advice, I’m on the other end of the phone whenever he needs me. We’re going to invest the money he makes from the sport so at the end of the day, he’s got a nice life and he’s comfortable when he hangs them up. I’ll be at his debut at The O2 and then afterwards, that’s it, I’ve got my own life to live in Australia, as much as I love my son, he’s going to make the decisions on his career with Eddie and Tony and he knows he can call me if he needs my help.”
Hearn added: “Sometimes you meet a young fighter that just gets you excited. Conor Benn has that look in his eye, that hunger and genes you just cannot buy.
“Watching him progress under Tony over the past few months has been a pleasure to watch, he had a style so similar to his father but is completely his own man. This is going to be a wonderful journey and fight fans need to be very excited about Conor Benn.”
Benn’s debut is part of a huge night of action in Greenwich, topped by Joshua’s World title clash with Martin. Lee Selby defends his IBF World Featherweight title against Eric Hunter, while there’s a key Middleweight battle between former World title challengers Matthew Macklin and Brian Rose, three-time World Super-Middleweight title challenger George Groves meets unbeaten Scotsman David Brophy, Ohara Davies faces Andy Keates for the vacant English Lightweight title, and another fight will be announced in the morning.