Promoter Eddie Hearn says his lawyers are dealing with the fallout of a positive drug test ahead of Eubank Jr vs Benn this weekend.
The Matchroom Boxing boss was left red-faced on Wednesday when news leaked that Conor Benn had failed before the grudge match.
Eubank Jr vs Benn should go ahead
However, it’s since emerged that Hearn and his team knew about the findings for weeks. Therefore, the clash on Saturday night at The O2 Arena should remain unaffected under Hearn’s logic.
Benn’s B sample hasn’t come through yet, and he passed all UKAD testing procedures leading up to this weekend. Due to the process, the Essex man doesn’t see how the British Boxing Board of Control can prohibit the fight.
Hearn will fight to save the catchweight bout, so it happens on October 8 in London for the fans.
Speaking at the final workouts live on DAZN and the Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel, Hearn explained the next steps.
“I think we’ve just seen the British Boxing Board of Control’s statement. It is pretty straightforward. The fight is now with the lawyers going backward and forwards right now.
“Both guys signed up for a multitude of testing for this fight. The UKAD testing, which is obviously the testing agency that the British Boxing Board of Control uses and is governed by, has all been clear and negative.
“There was an adverse finding on the VADA test previously, so there’s not been an official doping violation.”
Conor Benn did nothing wrong
Reiterating that Benn remains free to fight, Hearn added: “There’s a process that has to be gone through [A sample and B sample].
“Conor Benn is not suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control. Ultimately he can’t be because he’s passed all the tests from UKAD.
“But clearly, the British Boxing Board of Control will take a position on it [they prohibited it]. We’ll deal with the lawyers.”
Eubank Jr and Benn had a briefing about the circumstances after the report came out about the test.
Hearn is now adamant the welterweight vs middleweight collision should be allowed to continue.
“Both camps have been made aware, of course, previously to the article coming out about the situation. Both camps are prepared to progress with the fight.
“Ultimately, the conversations have to be had with the lawyers, the teams, and the British Boxing Board of Control.”
Difficult for Eubank Jr vs Benn
As Benn went through his public training session on Wednesday afternoon, Hearn pointed out that the events had affected the son of British legend Nigel Benn.
“You’ll see him here. Look, it’s a very difficult situation for him,” stated Hearn.
“We’ve seen previously people make their mind up before any news or information or evidence comes out. So it’s a very difficult time for him.
“He’ll be in here going through the process. And it’s a difficult time for everyone, for Chris Eubank too.
“I don’t think anyone is going to feel sorry for us, but we’ve put a lot of work into this show. We’ll see what happens from here.
“As I said, from Eubank’s side and from Conor Benn’s side, they feel the fight should progress. He’s not suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control.
“But ultimately, they are the governing body. We will have to have conversations with them through the lawyers to see where this process ends.”
Conor Benn – I’m innocent!
Benn broke his silence on the earth-shattering situation: “I’ve not committed any violations.
“I’ve not been suspended, so as far as I’m concerned, the fight is still going ahead.
“I’ve signed up for every voluntary anti-doping test under the sun. Throughout my whole career, I’ve been tested.
“I’ve always come back negative. I’ve never had any issues before.
“My team will find out why there has been an initial adverse finding in my test. But as far as I’m concerned, the fight is going ahead.”
He added: “I’m a clean athlete. We’ll get to the bottom of this.”
“We both want the fight to go ahead. We’ve both taken medical and legal advice. We both want the fight to happen for the fans.
“He [Chris Jr] believes in me. It’s not who I am or what I’m about. I’m a pro athlete. He was understanding. We both want the fight to go ahead.”
Eubank Jr vs Benn alternative measures
It’s hard to see how the British Board can alter its stance after making a public statement saying the following: “On the evening of 4th October 2022, the Board of the British Boxing Board of Control Limited resolved that the contest between Chris Eubank Jnr. and Conor Benn scheduled to take place on 8th October 2022 is prohibited.
“It is not in the interests of Boxing. That was communicated to the Boxers and Promoters involved on the morning of 5th October 2022.”
If they u-turn and allow this fight to happen, they will look like they don’t have any jurisdiction to stop fights. It’s a tricky one for all concerned.
The other alternative would be for organizers to seek another sanctioning body to oversee the clash. It wouldn’t be the first time after similar took place for David Haye vs Derek Chisora in the summer of 2012.
Frank Warren drafted a Luxembourg license for the pair as they duked it out at Upton Park, the former home of West Ham United.
If both fighters want to fight and promoters are hell-bent on standing firm with the decision, they usually find a way.
Eubank Jr vs Benn undercard
Mary Romero vs Ellie Scotney
Felix Cash vs Connor Coyle
Galal Yafai vs Gohan Rodriguez Garcia
Chloe Watson vs Nancy Franco
Harlem Eubank vs David Martin Campillo
Shannon Courtenay vs Gemma Ruegg
Lyndon Arthur vs Cesar Reynoso
George Liddard vs Hrvoje Grcic
The battle for legacy between the sons of Chris Eubank Sr. and Nigel Benn will go live on DAZN PPV in the United Kingdom if it’s not canceled. Subscribers can purchase for £19.99 and any device or console with the DAZN app.
Eubank Jr. vs Benn has captured the imagination of the British public and represents unfinished business between both families.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.