Busy Sims eyes big summer fight for Benn in the UK at 147

Trainer Tony Sims admits he wants to have Conor Benn boxing back in England, and sooner rather than later.

Benn fights New York’s Peter Dobson in Las Vegas on Saturday – at The Cosmopolitan – in a contest that came about after UKAD and the British Boxing Board of Control appealed the National Anti-Doping Panel’s decision to clear him to fight after two failed tests for PEDS in 2022.

Instead, it seemed like Benn and long-time rival Chris Eubank would finally meet in Tottenham Hotspur’s football stadium in front of tens of thousands of fans, this weekend, but Benn now finds himself boxing on a Saturday afternoon in Sin City.

“Obviously he’s clear to fight, so it’s just like he’s got this appeal that he wants to get out of the way, because that’s preventing him from fighting in England and that’s where he’d prefer to fight,” said Sims. “So, get this appeal over and out of the way and we will go from there… Get this one out of the way and I think his appeal’s a week after that, so that will be good to get that cleared up, and then obviously look to fight back in the UK in the summer time.”

Also, Dobson comes before anything. The 16-0 New Yorker is Benn’s second consecutive opponent in the US, having boxed and outpointed Rodolfo Orozco over 10 rounds in Florida last September.

But Sims is not overly concerned by Dobson getting in the way of Benn’s bigger plans.

“He [Dobson] looks alright but he just looks a bit slow, ponderous,” Sims said in his assessment of Dobson. “He’s got slow feet and I think Conor’s speed and athleticism should be a bit too much for him.”

Benn said he would have gone all the way up to 160lbs to box Eubank at middleweight, but he has also mentioned many of the big names at welterweight over the last few months and it is there where Sims would prefer to see his 22-0 contender box.

“Probably stay at 147 and try and get a big, big fight there at 147,” said Sims, when asked whether he wanted the Eubank bout resurrected or if he’d rather Benn take a different direction. 

The Benn camp for Dobson started in the UK last year. It included a Christmas Day sparring session with John Ryder, and then Sims, Ryder, Benn and others flew to Los Angeles to use the Matchroom Gym in Santa Monica as Ryder sharpened his tools ahead of his fight with Jaime Munguia in Phoenix last weekend.

Ryder then flew home following his hard loss, and Benn and Sims went to Vegas to complete their preparations. Sims, by the way, is only home for one day after Benn-Dobson, and then he flies to Saudi Arabia with Joe Cordina who defends his IBF super-featherweight title on the Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk bill against Irishman Anthony Cacace.

“We’ve had a good camp,” Sims said of his time with Benn. “We’ve done three weeks in LA, we’ve had really good sparring over there and he [Benn]’s in great shape so it’s tapering off, just doing the weight and tailing off. He’s in good condition, mentally and physically he feels good. He’s just raring to go for Saturday now.”