A further indictment of Conor Benn's record as a clean athlete happened today as two former world champions, who recently faced Conor Benn, Chris Algieri and Chris Van Heerden, both questioned whether or not Benn had been using banned substances for their bouts against him.
“Initial thoughts? Not surprised, not surprised one bit,” Algieri told Jomboy Boxing. “I had heard around the time when I was fighting him that he was not a clean fighter and I like to give fighters the benefit of the doubt.
“I can understand Conor’s frustration. ‘This fight should go on,’ because he’s the one that’s cheating, so he’s the one with all the confidence in the world,” said Chris Van Heerden to FightHub TV. “I’ve been hit by Spence a lot, and I’ve been hit by Ennis to know that when Ennis hit me, he didn’t drop me, but when he hit me, ‘Oh boy.’ Ennis’ power is even more than Spence’s power.”
“I’ve beaten unclean fighters before. I’d beaten guys who were cheating before, and I’ve always been willing to do it again. It didn’t matter to me at the time because I’m in the mindset that I’m going to fight soon and I’m preparing to fight that man. It is what it is but in hindsight it isn’t the smartest thing because when you’re preparing for a fight your mind is kind of preoccupied,” said Algieri to his friend and podcast co-host on their weekly show. “When I fought in Liverpool I was astonished how little official oversight there was fight week and in the locker room. It was scary honestly. No one followed me to piss or watched my hands being wrapped. Definitely gave me the impression it was very easy to cheat certainly not the oversight I am used to fighting over in the States, especially in New York where the commission is top notch.”
Van Heerden recalled even more frustration and furthered what Algieri stated.
“I didn’t get caught in round one to go, ‘Oh wow.’ The one punch that caught me in round two, I buzzed, I was out of it. So there wasn’t time for me to absorb his power and go, ‘Okay, the boys got power.’” Said Van Heerden about his fight against Benn. “The way he touched me on the chin, I was buzzing. It was weird because I’ve been hit by heavy hitters, and I’m known for being a tough kid. In the fight just before me, he knocked out Chris Algieri in a bad fashion, like in a bad way….Now I go back to Chris Algieri. Was he using anything when he fought Algieri because Pacquiao fought Algieri, but he didn’t destroy him in that fashion? Then comes Conor and destroys Algieri with one ugly punch and puts me down with one punch?”
It seems both veteran fights are both not surprised nor do they seem to think is a one-time thing for Benn, as it appears they believe it is a habitual pattern for the prospect.