EXCLUSIVE: Conor Benn wants Adrien Broner, doubts ‘retiring’ Amir Khan
Rising welterweight contender Conor Benn, having aced a supposed test against Chris Algieri on Dec. 11, is aiming for the bigger names in the division.
They might not necessarily be in a hurry to face Benn after what he did to Algieri, a vastly experienced former junior welterweight world titleholder, who was riding a four-fight winning streak. But Benn destroyed him in the Matchroom Boxing main event on DAZN at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England.
He dropped Algieri in the second round with a left hook and then brutally knocked him out with two seconds left in the fourth round on a left jab followed by a right hand on the chin that dropped him face first.
“I know what I can do and I planned on making that fight (with Algieri) look the way it did, which was not a test, which is why I kept saying, ‘Why do people keep saying this is a test?’ If he’s a test then there’s a problem,” Benn told World Boxing News in a recent interview. “If (Samuel) Vargas (whom Benn stopped in the first round in April) was a test then it’s a problem. I keep trying to tell people they’re not tests.”
The 25-year-old Benn (20-0, 13 KOs), the son of British legend Nigel Benn, who won world titles at middleweight and super middleweight, is due back in action in March or April and wants a bigger fight.
“I’d like to fight Adrien Broner,” Benn said of the former four-division world titleholder, who is past his best days but has a very big name. “I know he’s not the Broner he once was but it’s a good name on my resume. Aside from Broner, which I believe (Matchroom Boxing promoter) Eddie Hearn is trying to make for March or April, I’d like to fight Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia. I’d like (Yordenis) Ugas. I know he’s defending his WBA title (in a unification bout with Errol Spence Jr.). That’s a fight I’d take next. These are fights I’d take next.”
Hearn has said he is exploring the fight with Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs), 32, of Cincinnati, who is coming off a debatable 12-round decision win over Jovanie Santiago on Feb. 20, which was Broner’s first fight since a clear unanimous decision loss challenging Manny Pacquiao for a secondary welterweight world title in January 2019.
“It would get a lot of hype, of course,” Benn said of fighting Broner. “But it would also present a different style to the one I fought before. He’s a massive name, so if you look at it from a marketing perspective, great fight. I don’t even need to talk financials. He’s a massive name over there (in the United States) and over here (in the United Kingdom).
“There’d be some build-up before the fight. It would sell out wherever it is. And you anyone who has achieved four world titles in different weight divisions, you got to put them up there as idols, so I’d love to share the ring with him.”
Another fight Benn said he would have interest in would be against the winner of the Feb. 19 fight between longtime British rivals Amir Khan (34-5, 21 KOs), 34, a former unified junior welterweight titleholder, and former welterweight titlist Kell Brook (39-3, 27 KOs), 35, who have danced around each other for years but are finally squaring off at the end of their careers.
“Amir Khan don’t want it. No chance he will want it. There’d be no way. I’ve spoken to him about it. He’s retiring after the (Brook) fight. Kell Brook, I’d take the fight all day long. I’d fight either of them, but I’ve got more of a chance to fight Jake Paul,” Benn said with a laugh. “It’s one of them situations — why would they want to fight me?”
For what it’s worth, Benn tabs Brook to defeat Khan.
“It’s a 50-50 fight,” Benn said. “It’s 10 years too late, but it’s still a 50-50 fight. Khan’s chin is very vulnerable. There’s no secret there. But Kell Brook has had both his eye (sockets) fractured, so it’s like who’s got what left. But I’m tipping Brook. More durable. I don’t think Khan has the power like (Gennadiy) Golovkin or Spence to break his eye socket. Hopefully, Brook comes through and then he can get the smoke. He can get the Benn smoke.”
Then there are the other names he mentioned in the two Garcias, who are not related. Mikey Garcia (40-2, 30 KOs), 34, of Moreno Valley, California, who has won world titles in four divisions, suffered a massive 10-round majority decision loss to Sandor Martin on Oct. 16 but remains formidable. Former welterweight and junior welterweight world titlist Danny Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs), 33, of Philadelphia, lost a decision challenging Spence for his unified welterweight title in his last fight last December. He is probably headed up to the junior middleweight division when he returns.
“I’d definitely like a Mikey Garcia or Danny Garcia fight here in Britain. But I’d love the Adrien Broner fight here in Britain. I’d understand if Adrien Broner couldn’t get here, so I’d be open to traveling over there,” Benn said, making reference to Broner’s legal issues that could prevent him from traveling internationally to box. “I’d fight anywhere. It really makes no difference to me. A ring’s a ring.
“I wouldn’t want (to fight) anyone who could make a Conor Benn fight a boring fight. People forget this is the entertainment business. This isn’t just the sport of fighting. It’s entertainment and entertainment is what I stand by.”
CONOR BENN IN THE US
While Benn’s profile is on the rise in the U.K., he would like to fight again in the U.S. In his only fight outside of the U.K., he boxed on the Daniel Jacobs-Luis Arias undercard in December 2017 in Uniondale on New York’s Long Island.
“It’s definitely overwhelming,” Been said of being recognized wherever he goes in England. “Get shown so much love. I think I do the biggest numbers here outside of the heavyweights – Dillian Whyte, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. So, it’s a blessing man.
“I’d love to fight in America. I fought in the Nassau Coliseum on the Daniel Jacobs undercard. My next fight could be in America. That’s no problem. Anywhere. I know it’s so cliché – anytime, anywhere, anyone. That’s just how I feel. I’m ready for whoever they put in front of me anywhere.”
Award-winning writer Dan Rafael is the Lead Boxing Contributor for World Boxing News. Follow Dan on social media @DanRafael1.