Conor Benn will look back on his fight with Adrian Granados with a certain satisfaction, even if he cut a frustrated figure at the final bell. Try as he might, Benn could not shift Granados, but he got a good ten rounds and a solid test.
There is no doubt Benn is exciting, but it is the improvement he has shown in being far more than simply a puncher that has been most impressive. He did his best to blow Granados away, but when Granados did not fall, Benn outworked him and did not let up, even if he did look frustrated at times.
The win extended the welterweight’s unbeaten record to 19 fights. The plan is for him to be ready to box for a world title by the end of 2022. He still has plenty to learn but that doesn’t seem an unrealistic timescale.
“It was very frustrating, he was on his bike the whole fight,” Benn said. “I thought he was going to stand toe to toe but I had to hunt him down.”
Benn took barely a minute to find his range as he landed a hard body shot and then a right round the ear, that Granados claimed was round the back of the head. But Granados moved well at range in the main as Benn look a bit over-eager at times.
Granados was more willing to stand his ground in the second, as he came forward landing two decent rights of his own and then a good left uppercut in an exchange later in the round.
In the third round, Benn looked more willing to work for his openings, using the jab better and ducking low and moving his head to get inside. He got his reward with 20 seconds left in the round, landing a big right and then a left hook that rocked Granados back into the ropes, although he shrugged the shots off.
Granados came forward again at the start of the fourth, but Benn was finding his range and drove him back across the ring with a series of punches. Still Granados was not going to be deterred and caught Benn on the ropes, as he forced him backwards, although Benn was happy to trade and landed well to the body.
There was another good round by Benn in the fifth, as he took his time and did well with his jab and straight left, never getting too greedy.
By the seventh round, Granados seemed to have accepted that he was on his way to defeat so was content to move and try and frustrate Benn, who was guilty of following him around a bit much rather the cutting off the ring.
There was more from Granados in the eighth round, as he upped his workrate, but Benn finished well, landing a big right hand in the last 20 seconds. Still Granados did better in the ninth round, as Benn’s punch output seemed to dry up.
By the end of the tenth and final round, Benn was shouting at Granados to stand and fight, dropping his hands and banging his legs an invitation to Granados to have a swing at him.
One judge, Steve Gray, gave Benn every round, scoring it 100-90. The other two gave the visitor more credit, Luigi Boscarelli scoring it 99-91 and Leszek Jankowiak 97-93.