Sims: Benn on course for December date with Eubank Jr

Tony Sims believes Conor Benn can be ready to fight Chris Eubank Jr in December after his 10-rounds with Rodolfo Orozco in Orlando last weekend.

The 27-year-old Benn made a controversial return to the ring despite not yet being cleared of any wrongdoing by UK Anti-Doping or the British Boxing Board of Control for twice testing positive for the banned substance clomiphene, around the time of last year’s cancelled date with Eubank Jr.

Since his return his promoter Eddie Hearn has spoken of rescheduling what remains one of the biggest fights in British boxing for December. They had previously agreed to fight at 156lbs; whether they do so again or closer to the middleweight limit of 160lbs, it is relevant that against Orozco, Benn fought at a career-heaviest 153 1/2lbs.  

“After the 10 rounds he’s done he’ll be ready, and also, he’ll get a proper camp in, mentally and physically,” said Sims of a fighter who had been inactive since April 2022. “Bearing in mind, that was a camp of four weeks, really. 

“Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fit kid, but that was a four-week camp against a durable geezer who soaked everything up. To have a 12-week camp – a proper camp – bring in proper sparring, he’ll be more than ready. He’ll be properly prepared for the next fight.”

Earlier this month the 34-year-old Eubank Jr revived his career by stopping Liam Smith in their rematch, with a performance widely considered his career-best.

“Liam Smith was probably at his best the first fight, and Eubank was probably at his worst, and then the next fight, Smith was probably the worst you’ve ever seen him, and Eubank’s was probably the best performance of his career,” Sims continued. “Both them fights was really hard to look into. 

“Is Chris Eubank still vulnerable? The Smith he fought the second time didn’t even look like he’d done any training. It looked like he was injured. After two rounds Eubank realised he wasn’t doing anything and started to box him and looked good, but that wasn’t the first Smith that boxed him, so you wonder whether Eubank can still take a shot – he looked very vulnerable in that first fight. But was that ‘cause he was ill-prepared? You don’t know, so both the fights were really hard to look into. 

“You can’t really take a lot away from either one of them. All I know is Eubank’s 34 now; apart from the last Smith fight he ain’t looked great in the fights leading up to that. That’ll be the Eubank that’s in my mind, really – and also, you can’t say Smith punches as hard as Conor Benn. If them bombs [like against Orozco] was landing on Eubank’s chin he wouldn’t be able to hold them.”