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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Alex Pattle

Eddie Hearn eyes Cardiff clash for Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr

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Eddie Hearn has said Cardiff is the first-choice location for a potential fight between Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr in December.

Benn and Eubank Jr were set to square off in London in October 2022, but the bout collapsed on short notice upon the revelation that Benn had failed two drug tests in the lead-up.

Benn, 26, was subsequently stripped of his licence by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) and charged by UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), though the World Boxing Council cleared the unbeaten welterweight of any intentional wrongdoing. Later, the National Anti-Doping Panel lifted a provisional suspension on Benn, though the BBBofC and Ukad have appealed that move.

Benn returned to the ring in September, beating Rodolfo Orozco on points in Florida after obtaining a Texas licence. Meanwhile, 33-year-old Eubank Jr last fought in September, too, stopping Liam Smith to avenge a January loss to his fellow Briton. Attention has now turned to reorganising Benn vs Eubank Jr, 30 years after their fathers – Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank – concluded their own two-fight series.

“Our side with Conor Benn, and the side of Kalle Sauerland and Chris Eubank [Jr], want to move forward and make that fight,” Hearn told the BBC on Monday (9 October). “We feel that because of the situation with Conor Benn’s suspension being lifted and winning that case, he should be allowed and able to fight in the UK.

“We’re speaking to the British Boxing Board of Control. We think legally there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be allowed to fight in the UK, but obviously it’s their decision.”

Hearn then said Cardiff’s Principality Stadium is the first-choice venue for the fight, which is being targeted for 23 December, adding: “If we are not allowed to do that, we will hold the fight internationally, but our preference of course is to bring that big fight to Britain.”

Hearn said last week that Anthony Joshua could fight on the same card as a potential Benn vs Eubank Jr bout, naming Abu Dhabi as a possible location.

Anthony Joshua, left, with Hearn in March
— (Zac Goodwin/PA Wire)

The Matchroom chief reiterated that plan on Monday, saying: “We also have a rather large heavyweight called Anthony Joshua, who’s saying: ‘Look, if I’m not fighting Deontay Wilder in January, I would quite like to fight in December as well.’ So, we’re trying to work it all out, but quite frankly I think it’s very unlikely that we don’t have a show on 23 December.

“Is it going to feature all of them, is it going to feature one of them? I don’t know, but there’s a huge desire from both camps of Benn and Eubank to make that fight for 23 December.”

Benn is unbeaten as a professional, while Eubank Jr’s loss to Smith in January was the third of his pro career. Eubank Jr previously suffered points defeats by Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves, while his first fight with Smith marked his first stoppage loss.

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