The signs were all there, according to Chris Algieri Jr.

In response to the news of Conor Benn’s recent positive drug test, the longtime 140-pound contender from Long Island revealed that he had plenty of suspicions that the hard-charging welterweight was skirting the rules ahead of their own match-up last December at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.

Benn stopped Algieri in the fourth round with a vicious right hand that many regarded as one of the top knockouts of that year.

Now, Benn’s achievements have become shrouded in doubt after it was revealed earlier this week by The Daily Mail that Benn tested positive for clomifene, a fertility drug that can boost testosterone levels when used by men.

Algieri said he had heard rumors that Benn was not a clean fighter in the lead up to their fight, so the recent news did not exactly shock him.

“My very first thought was, ‘I’m not surprised,’ Algieri said on the Boxing with Chris Mannix podcast. “I had heard mutterings when I was getting ready to fight him, I heard mutterings around that fight week from people who were over across the seas. And then I heard it post[fight].

“Now that it comes to light, it makes you think. It sucks. I don’t want to think about other fighters that way … it’s impossible not to.”

Algieri was particularly taken aback by what he feels is an abnormally drastic change in Benn’s physique between his bout with Adrien Granados, in September 2021, and their own bout, which took place four months later in December.

“I knew there was a lot of hype around him,” Algieri said. “I knew he was a young fighter. I knew I was his first big step-up fight and there is a lot on his shoulders to perform the way that he needs to.

“But the writing was on the wall. If you look at this body, the way it changed, even from the Granados fight to my fight, which were only four months apart. The difference was visible. That’s hard to do in such a short amount of time after you’ve been training at a high level. That’s one thing. But then you never know, everybody’s body is different. Now it just makes you rethink everything leading up to it, what you’ve heard. Yeah, I heard from multiple sources that he was not a clean fighter.”

Algieri said that there was no advanced level drug testing—such as VADA, the agency that was responsible for administering the test that turned up a positive result for Benn ahead of the Eubank fight—that was in place for his fight with Benn.

“No VADA, nothing like that,” Algieri said. “Honestly, how often does that really happen? It’s expensive to do. They just show up where you’re at. It’s very, very rare. There was no advanced testing.”