Conor Benn’s trainer Tony Sims says Benn getting licensed is priority, not fight speculation

Trainer Tony Sims has admitted that when it comes to Conor Benn’s next fight, first things must come first and his fighter needs to be licensed.

Speaking at the end of last week, before Boxing News broke the story today (April 18) that Benn had been provisionally suspended by UKAD (UK Anti-Doping), Sims would not be drawn on the speculation that Benn would fight in Abu Dhabi and that either Chris Eubank, Kell Brook or Manny Pacquiao would be in the opposite corner.

“I just don’t think you can talk about anything yet until he [Benn] gets a boxing license, which he hasn’t got at the minute, so until he gets a boxing license I just think it’s all speculation and talk,” said Sims. “There’s nothing lined up for him, he’s got to get his license sorted, really.”

Benn has been in the gym training, and Sims said his fighter wanted to see action again as soon as possible, but the chaos caused by two positive doping tests ahead of his eventually-aborted fight with Eubank last year has not been satisfactorily resolved, despite the WBC reinstalling him into their world rankings and green lighting him to fight again. However, they are merely a sanctioning body, not a governing body, and they do not have the authority to clear anyone to fight, that is down to the regulatory authorities. 

“Yeah, of course he does, he’s a fighter, so he wants to fight,” Sims added. “There’s obviously barriers he’s got to come through yet and he’s got to get a boxing license. That’s his main objective at the minute.”

Benn has been defiant, but there is no question he has been entrenched in his battle to fight his corner. Benn has plenty of sympathisers, and promoter Eddie Hearn and Tony Sims maintain their belief in his innocence. 

According to today’s Boxing News exclusive, UKAD provisionally suspended Benn on March 15 and the well-respected publication says it “throws his comeback into doubt.”

UKAD work under the rule of WADA, the World Anti-Doping Association, and those with British Boxing Board of Control licenses can be disciplined for working with Benn if he is suspended.

Benn, however, remained defiant and came out fighting on social media. On Twitter today, he wrote: “I can't comment on anything to do with UKAD other than to say that I am in touch with them. Someone at the BBBoC or UKAD obviously wanted to create a headline unlike the Khan case where it was kept quiet for 14 months but this is nothing new. I remain free to fight outside the UK.”

He went on to say: “This isn’t even about my innocence anymore, it’s all politics. You can’t keep a good man down.”