Eddie Hearn is eyeing up a date in September for the return of welterweight Conor Benn as he attempts to put the issues of the last twelve months behind him following his clearance to box once again following his anti-doping issues.
Benn, last week was cleared to resume his career by the independent national ant-doping panel following the fallout of his two failed VADA tests for the substance clomifene. The tests, which were conducted in July and September of last year, ultimately led to the collapse of his anticipated encounter with Chris Eubank Jr, set for October 5th 2022.
Since then, Benn had been provisionally suspended by UKAD, which brought his career to a halt despite Hearn seeking to explore opportunities outside of the UK for Benn to keep up the momentum which he had gained during his career so far.
However, despite being cleared by the independent national anti-doping panel, the BBBofC, in a statement published on August 1st, has hinted that they may appeal the decision regarding Benn’s clearance to return.
Hearn believes that the BBBofC will not take such action in prolonging the extensively drawn-out situation, but if the BBBofC does appeal, then he and Benn will be prepared to fight the appeal if necessary.
“He has an international license to box, but I would like him to box in the UK. If they (BBBofC) appealed, that would slow down the process. A lot of people will be trying to convince them to (appeal),” Hearn told PA Sport.
“I don’t expect them to, but if they do, we’re here and ready – we’ve done it every day for a year. What’s another month or so? Hopefully, we can all move forward. Everything that has been asked of Conor Benn, he’s done. I just hope that’s respected. At what point do you say, ‘It’s been a year and a half since he’s boxed; how are we going to move forward?’.”
If the situation runs according to what Hearn expects, he is targeting Benn's returns to action in September before a fight date in December.
“I would like him to box in September. He wants to go straight into a big fight, but he’s been out of the ring for 16 months. (Benn fighting in) September and December will be great, but we’ll see,” Hearn said.
“He’s ready to rip someone’s head off. When you talk about how low he’s been, there are some people who are like, ‘he deserves it, who cares?’ But what he’s been through would break most men.”