Benn dominates Dobson over 12 rounds

As he waits for the result of an appeal against his suspension from British boxing rings, Conor Benn continues to try and make the case that he is an elite welterweight. Even after dominating unheralded Peter Dobson over 12 one-sided rounds at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on Saturday, that case is a hard one to make. The likes of Terence Crawford and Jaron Ennis are unlikely to lose any sleep on the basis of this performance.

To be fair, Benn established from the opening bell that he was at least one class above Dobson (16-1, 9 KOs), whose ledger included no opponents of any note and who gave Benn little cause for concern at any point during the contest. Benn, 23-0 (14 KOs), was too fast and too powerful, launching repeated left hooks and overhand rights in Dobson’s direction, while the man from the Bronx looked clueless about what he was supposed to offer in return. 

In the second, a right hand from Benn knocked Dobson backward without even landing cleanly, and Dobson merely stood and watched as Benn teed off on him with fast combinations in the pocket. 

However, as early as the third round it was becoming clear that nothing Benn was doing was surprising Dobson, who was consistently able to shift his head just enough to minimize the impact of the big right hands the Englishman was throwing in his direction. Benn’s offense was in dire need of a slight shift in his feet, nudging over to his left, throwing more and straighter left hands to move Dobson’s head into the line of fire of his power right hands. 

To his credit, Dobson at no stage looked especially overawed, and in rounds four and five he began to show signs of life, looking to step inside and fire right hands of his own between Benn’s punches. But Dobson was undone by his massive speed deficit, his punches appearing to be thrown through molasses in contrast to the rapid fire blows of his opponent. 

The second half of the contest settled into a rhythm: Benn came out firing at the beginning of each round, Dobson took his punches and made something of an effort to fight back, and then Benn fired more power punches down the stretch. There was no doubt who was the superior boxer, nor was there any likelihood of Dobson pulling the upset, but Benn’s was a performance heavy on aggression and light on guile. A few feints, a little more unpredictability, would have made for an easier night for the Briton, and perhaps a shorter one.

In the event, Dobson survived all 12 rounds, but the scorecards were something of a familiarity, with Benn winning by scores of 119-109 and 118-110 twice.

“You can always do better,” Benn said afterward. “But overall, this is about getting back to where I ws mentally. I want to get back to destroying people.”