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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Pa Sport Staff

Conor Benn refused application to box in the UK after failed drugs tests

PA Archive

Conor Benn vs Chris Eubank Jr will not take place in Britain as things stand, despite plans to stage the fight in London on 3 February.

The all-British clash fell through on short notice in October 2022, after it was revealed that Benn had failed two drug tests, but efforts have since been made to reorganise the bout. Benn, 27, seemed to reveal the new date this week, telling Eubank Jr on X (formerly Twitter): “Feb 3 I’m ending your career #4rounds.”

It was also reported that the fight could take place at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but Robert Smith dismissed that suggestion on Wednesday (29 November). Smith, the general secretary at the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC), highlighted the fact that Benn is still unable to box in Britain, after the unbeaten welterweight was stripped of his licence by the BBBofC and charged by UK Anti-Doping.

Although the World Boxing Council later cleared Benn of any intentional wrongdoing, and although the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) lifted a provisional suspension, the 27-year-old is still unable to box in Britain, because the BBBofC and Ukad appealed the NADP’s move.

“The Board feel that any athlete – not just a boxer, but any athlete – who has failed a drugs test needs to go through an investigation with the proper authorities, and that hasn’t happened,” Smith told Talksport. “We’re waiting for that to happen, and the boxing board and Ukad have been pushing for that to happen right from the beginning of this. Unfortunately it’s been delayed, not through the Boxing Board of Control or Ukad but through other parties.

“With regard to Mr Benn boxing in this country, we have had an application for him to box in this country. That has been refused.

“They can put out what they want ultimately, but they haven’t been through the proper authorities, and as I said before: [We’ve been] really keen to get this done, right from the beginning.”

In September, Benn fought for the first time since April 2022, beating Rodolfo Orozco in Florida after obtaining a Texas boxing licence. Meanwhile, Eubank Jr suffered a TKO loss to Liam Smith in January but avenged that defeat in September.

Eubank Jr and Benn’s cancelled fight in October 2022 was due to take place almost 29 years to the day after the pair’s fathers, Chris Eubank Sr and Nigel Benn, fought one another for the second time. The British icons fought to a draw, three years after Eubank Sr stopped Nigel Benn.

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