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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Tom Hopkinson

Conor Benn calls out "delusional" Kell Brook as he moves closer to world title fight

Conor Benn has branded Kell Brook "delusional" and told Chris van Heerden, the man he will fight instead on Saturday, that he talks "utter b*******."

Benn had hoped to face Brook next weekend but talks broke down amid suggestions that the former IBF World welterweight champion wanted £10million for the fight. As a result, the 25-year-old prospect faces South Africa-born, US-based Van Heerden at Manchester Arena in a battle he hopes will propel him closer to the world title fight he craves this year.

Asked if the demands suggested Brook was ducking him, Benn said: “Who knows what’s going on in his and his team’s heads? It’s a bit delusional, if I may say so myself.

“Obviously, the April 16 fight was due to go ahead and it was either we wait to see what happens in negotiations with Kell Brook or we miss out on that date. But there was no interest from me and my team to miss out on April 16 — we want activity, we want momentum, and at this stage of my career it’s crucial. If the fight happens with Brook, it happens. We’re at different stages of our careers. He’s at the tail-end and wants to ride off into the sunset, I’m on the hunt for a world title.

“In terms of world rankings, fighting Brook would definitely be the next best fight for me. Somehow Brook’s rankings have really jumped up so he would be my go to in terms of propelling me on to a world title. But I have the likes of Keith Thurman, who has had a final eliminator for the WBC, with Mario Barrios, these are the sort of fights we want. I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me.”

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Connor Benn is the son of legendary boxer Nigel Benn (Paul Greenwood/REX/Shutterstock)

The man ‘they’ have subsequently put in front of Benn is Van Heerden, who said last week: “I’m a much better boxer than Conor. Conor is an emotionally angry fighter. He relies on his power. He cannot box with me. He’s not a boxer. He’s a power puncher and I don’t rate him as a boxer.”

But Benn added: “It’s utter b*******. He needs to change the script. Honestly, it’s either that I can’t box or I rely on my power. But if I do rely on my power it has got me through to 20&0 pretty damn good.

“All you have to do is ask Chris Algieri, Sebastian Formella, Adrian Granados, Samuel Vargas… I boxed half of them and knocked the other half out. So he can think what he wants. I don’t know if he believes it, maybe he does. But if that’s the case he will find out on the night when I’m winging him in. I will beat him in every department. I’ll do what I did to Algieri — I’ll outbox him and then bang him out.”

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