Conor Benn believes he will be good enough to share a ring with Terence Crawford or Errol Spence one day, although the unbeaten welterweight is not going to put a time limit on himself to climb to the top of the tree. 

After wins over Samuel Vargas and Adrian Granados already this year, Benn takes another step up in class when he faces former WBO super-lightweight champion in Liverpool on Saturday night. Promoter Eddie Hearn has spoken of Benn being in a position to box for a world title at the end of 2022, while Benn insists he is doing everything he can to get there. 

“I believe I will be at that level,” Benn said. “I don’t need motivation, I inspire myself all the time. I leave no stone unturned, I give myself every possible chance of being that good, of being great.  

“It took Kell Brook 10 years to win a world title and he had a good amateur background, so no time frame. I just have to get there. 

“For anyone out there in life, do your best. That’s enough. Do the best you can, everything else will take care of itself. I don’t need no motivation. I’m a very motivated guy. I don’t know what it is that motivates me. You could say it’s the luxuries of life but I don’t think it is the luxuries of life, I’m just a motivated guy. It’s just the way I am. I don’t think you can put motivation down to financial. You can to an extent. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t fight for free. I’m not going to give it all that saying ‘I’ll fight for free’. But my motivation goes a lot further than the materialistic.” 

Benn admits he had never heard of Algieri when he was a world champion, but he is aware that Spence was the one man to stop him and is planning to do the same to the 37-year-old.

“I never plan on the fight going the distance, every fight I have I go ‘I am going to do everything I can to take this out of the judges’ hands’,” Benn said.

“But I won’t go in with that mindset of ‘I have to do it because Spence has done it’. I have got to do it because I am going to do what I do. I’m still going to go in there and try take his head off his shoulders. 

“I know how good Algieri is, he’s a well-seasoned fighter, he lives the life, he may be in his prime now. You look at when Manny Pacquiao fought Keith Thurman, everyone said he was past it. When Kiko Martinez fought Galahad, he was past it, when you want to start talking age then I am paying no attention.  

“He’s definitely better than [Vargas and Granados]. You don’t get a world title for nothing, he knows his way around the ring. He will present a different set of problems but nothing I can’t take care of.

“I don’t know what goes on in his head, he’s done what he has had to do in the sport and it is my time now.”

Despite being the son of a legendary world champion, Benn admits he has never been a great student of the sport and that extends to not watching tapes of his opponents. 

Indeed, he admits to not having much patience when Tony Sims, his trainer, wants to show him things he has spotted.

“I never study opponents,” Benn said. “What Tony has to do is send me a 20-second clip of something I should work on or something that he does. I never watch my opponents, I never have and never will. You start taking your eye off what you can do and thinking ‘he’s got a good jab, or he’s got this’ but I know what I’m capable of.  

“I will be wrapping my hands preparing for training and he will go ‘here Conor have a look’ and I tell him ‘when we were in the ring we will do it on the pads or when I’m in sparring call it out to me’. Whatever he does on the night, I will suss him out.” 

One fight that will have him watching, however, is the February 19 clash between Amir Khan and Kell Brook. And he wants to face the winner. 

“It is frustrating they didn’t do this five or six years ago, but they’re both calling my name saying they want me after that fight so I will fight the winner - 1 million percent,” Benn said.

“Either of them. It makes no difference to me. They claim they’re the best in Britain, but I beg to differ.” 

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.