EXCLUSIVE: Conor Benn talks US goal, gives Pacquiao v Thurman verdict
Conor Benn had arguably the best win of his career last weekend when he defeated undoubtedly his toughest opponent, Jussi Koivula.
Having taken a couple of shots in the first, Benn came roaring out in the second to take the fight to Koivula.
Benn stopped the Finn, having had him down on the canvas on several occasions.
Having a two weight world champion as a father (Nigel Benn) could bring it’s own pressure to perform however Benn feels the pressure is diminishing with each fight.
“I think the pressure is starting to go,” Benn said. “I think people are starting to realise I am who I am. They know I fight the way I fight.
“The name can only take you so far. If you’re rubbish no one is going to watch you.
“I want to be headlining shows, fighting in New York. Being involved in Fight of the Year contenders. Also winning the WBA title, fighting at the O2.
“All these things would have stopped three or four fights in if I was rubbish.
“So, the pressure is starting to go as I’m my own fighter, what I represent is me. I’m here on my own. I ain’t got my dad holding my hand on the scales or holding my hand in the ring.
“I’m making my choices, when it comes to it. Yeah, my dad is there but my dad’s more my dad and I like it that way. If I need advice on anything he’s there.”
There is no doubt that there were similarities between father and son last weekend, especially in the second round. The hair, the movement and the excitement are all things we associate with Nigel and Conor agrees there were big similarities.
“It was unbelievable, as me watching it back, I was like, of all my fights, the last one was the one I really looked like my dad really.” Benn said.
“Not sure if it’s the hair, the finish, the way I was throwing the shots. It was a ringer for my dad. I can’t get over it, I keep watching it back. Just the way I’m throwing my shots and it baffles me, it really does.
“I must look up to my dad more than I realise. It was like watching my dad in some weird way. Me growing up watching him on YouTube 24/7, I must have just picked it up. I don’t know.”
PACQUIAO v THURMAN
Having mentioned the WBA title earlier in our conversation I asked Benn his thoughts on the upcoming Thurman-Pacquiao fight, and how long he feels before he will be in those sort of fights.
“Yeah, I don’t want to rush anything,” he said. “When you start rushing, things can go pear shaped. I am ranked in the WBA rankings, 6th or 8th in the world or whatever it is. I think by the time I’m up there they will be on their way out.
“It is a good fight, I hope Pacquiao does it. I think it’s a 50/50 fight but I would lean towards Pacquiao but by the time I’m up there, there will be a whole new different breed of fighters.”
If Benn continues in the way he is going, people may start to ask Nigel Benn if he is Conor’s dad.
Mick Kane is a Staff Writer to World Boxing News. Follow Mick on Twitter @MickKaneMMA