In the moments following his latest win, Conor Benn demanded stronger competition.
The message has been received, as the unbeaten welterweight will endure arguably his stiffest test to date. The 24-year-old Brit will face veteran Adrian Granados to headline the second season premiere of Matchroom Fight Camp. The event takes place July 31, live from Matchroom Boxing headquarters in Brentwood, Essex, England.
"I'm delighted to begin our game-changing partnership with the leading global sports streaming platform DAZN with another sizzling summer of Fight Camp action from our stunning HQ in Brentwood, Essex," Eddie Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Boxing said upon revealing the three-week series lineup Monday. "One of the hottest properties in the Welterweight division Conor Benn gets things underway on July 31 when he puts his WBA Continental Title on the line against Adrian Granados."
The matchup is a firm step in the direction sought by Benn (18-0, 12KOs) following his stunning 1st round knockout of Samuel Vargas this past April at the famed Copper Box Arena. Vargas has been in with several notable former champs and rising contenders but proved no match for Benn, the son of former two-division champion Nigel Benn who continues to carve out his own name in the current marketplace.
Benn is once again in a fight where comparisons will be drawn to his opponent's past conquerors. His dominant showing of fringe contender Sebastian Formella last November measured up well to that of former two-time welterweight titlist Shawn Porter who soundly outpointed the German welterweight just three months prior.
Granados (21-8-3, 15KOs) enters the fight with a wealth of experience and on the heels of a strong showing. The no-nonsense Mexican slugger from the Chicagoland area—now based out of California—went to war with rising prospect Jose Luis Sanchez this past May, having to settle for an eight-round draw in a fight where many felt he deserved the nod.
The 31-year-old trialhorse has been stopped just once in his career, coming at the hands of former two-division champion Danny Garcia in April 2019. Among Granados' most notable achievements was his November 2015 dismantling of then-unbeaten contender Amir Imam, earning an 8th round knockout victory.
Benn-Granados is supported by a solid undercard, including a major title fight and terrific domestic cruiserweight title fight between Tommy McCarthy (18-2, 9 KOs) and Chris Billam-Smith(12-1, 10 KOs). Per the Matchroom release:
- Shannon Courtenay (7-1, 3 KOs) makes the first defense of her WBA bantamweight title;
- Avni Yildrim (21-3, 12 KOs) fights for the first time since his failed super middleweight title bid versus Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as he faces Jack Cullen (19-2-1, 9 KOs);
- Liverpool’s Anthony Fowler (14-1, 11 KOs) enters a dangerous junior middleweight crossroads bout with Roberto Garcia (44-5, 27 KOs);
- Manchester Lightweight Campbell Hatton (2-0), son of former two-division champ Ricky Hatton fights for the third time as a pro;
- Former amateur standout Sandy Ryan makes her pro debut, campaigning as a junior welterweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox