Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Conor Benn Preview


Almost 29 years ago, two British fighters connected through a passionate rivalry, stepped into the ring for the second time. Three decades later, their son’s are set to repeat history.

This Saturday marks one of the most-anticipated boxing matchups seen by the UK public in some time. Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn are set to continue their fathers’ legacies in a catchweight bout at 157lbs. If the lead-up to the weekend hasn’t provided enough entertainment, then the main event almost certainly will.

The Build-Up

For obvious reasons, Eubank Jr. and Benn were built up massively during their come-ups in the sport. The latter is still, in fact, in that stage of his career.

Despite the duo making their names in different weight classes, there was always a sense of anticipation as to whether they would ever meet in the ring. Many were certain that their fathers’ would have passed down biased tales of their encounters, which often ended in verbal battles at the best of times.

Eubank Jr. is definitely the more experienced and accomplished of the pair, being a former two-time holder of both the WBA Interim Middleweight and IBO Super-Middleweight belts. The 33-year-old also claimed the British Middleweight title back in 2016.

Benn is a raw, powerful British prospect backed up by the full force of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. The 26-year-old has won all 21 of his professional fights, 14 of these by stoppage.

Travel back in time one generation prior, where Chris Eubank Sr. and Nigel Benn backed up their words against each other in two fiercely contested bouts. The first ended in victory for Eubank via a ninth round TKO, the second in a split draw.

His father’s scars will certainly act as a reminder for the now-active boxer in the Benn family. Saturday is, in essence, the trilogy fight.

Fight Week – Will it go ahead?

The day is October 5, 2022, and a major story involving this weekend’s main event has just broken during the writing of this article.

Benn has tested positive for ‘clomifene‘, a substance on the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) banned list. A mediciation standardly used to treat infertility in women, but also to raise testosterone levels in men.

Brandeis MD, a male rejuvination centre, claim that “we can usually achieve a 100% increase in T (testosterone) levels with Clomid. In some cases, one may see up to a 200% increase.”

Each substance will obviously affect a person differently, and there is no telling if Benn has taken the substance knowingly at present. However, it’s not a good look.

Saturday’s bout is already one shrouded with concerns about its safety. Due to the catchweight agreement, Eubank Jr. will have to cut around 10 lbs more than he usually would, with only 5 lbs more allowed before the first bell.

This is around 5-10 lbs less than what fighters are usually allowed to rehydrate to following weigh-ins, making it more than likely Eubank Jr. will be coming into the fight nowhere near full strength. As he himself has repeatedly said: “60%”.

His father, Eubank Sr., has displayed increased concern throughout the build-up to the fight for this very reason.

The 56-year-old told the Daily Mail: “When they understand: I lost a son, Michael Watson happened, Gerald McClellan happened, Nick Blackwell happened, and the many warriors who have fallen or are disabled because of contests in the ring.

“You cannot come down in weight – especially against a fighter of the magnitude of Mr King, Conor Benn. This ain’t no joke.”

Eubank Sr., a former WBO Middleweight and Super-Middleweight champion, has also urged fans to boycott the fight out of fears for his son’s safety.

News is currently circulating of whether the planned bout will continue, a lot of which is dependent of Benn’s B-sample coming through negative. At the time of writing, the latest emergence able to be provided is Hearn’s interview with iD Boxing regarding the timings of drug-testing:

How will they match up?

Let’s presume the fight, controversially, goes ahead.

Eubank Jr. comes into the weekend’s main event off the back of a brilliant win against Welshman Liam Williams via unanimous decision. The 33-year-old knocked his opponent down four times in front of a Cardiff crowd, putting in what many believe to be a career-best performance.

Eubank made the contest look so simple in stages that he was able to begin showboating in the ring, just as his father had done ever so famously.

Under the highly-regarded coaching of Roy Jones Jr., the former title holder has become much more calculated in his movements, picking apart his opponents from range rather than than utilising constant pressure.

Benn similarly impressed in his previous appearance, knocking out South African welterweight Chris van Heerden in the second round.

The Destroyer‘ emerged the comfortable victor. The finish came after he pushed his opponent up against the ropes and began to deliver a barrage of punishing shots to the head and body.

Benn rounded out the exchange with a powerful right uppercut followed with a perfectly-timed overhand that connected over van Heerden’s block.

Both are clearly talented fighters, and Eubank Jr. comes into Saturday’s potential event as the favourite across betting sites. However, it is yet to be seen how the catchweight will affect either of the duo, and fans across the globe are all eagerly awaiting news as to whether the bout will be allowed to go ahead or not.

For the sake of boxing’s entertainment, some will be hoping there’s a way for the fight to resume. For the sake of boxing’s safety, others will be hoping there isn’t.

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