Conor Benn will close out a productive 2021 campaign with his biggest name—and perhaps toughest test—to date.
Former junior welterweight titlist Chris Algieri has been confirmed as the opponent of choice for the unbeaten Benn, Matchroom Boxing confirmed Sunday. The bout will headline a DAZN telecast December 11 from M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England.
“To headline in a city like Liverpool you need to be in the ring against a world class operator," Benn said following the confirmation. "Chris has done it all, a former World Champion and exactly the opponent I need to gain experience from.
"We expect Algieri to bring his best, but I want him deep in the trenches with me, I want to use this opportunity to display my skills and ability against a quality fighter to prepare me and take another step closer to a World Title. A former world champ versus a very, very hungry contender, I can’t wait for December 11."
Benn (19-0, 12KOs) has scored two wins this year, both coming versus elevated competition. The second-generation boxer from Ilford, Essex—whose father Nigel was a former two-division titlist in the 1990s—opened the year with an 80-second blitzing of Samuel Vargas this past April at Copper Box Arena. The demand to secure a tougher opponent led to the sturdy Adrian Granados extending Benn the ten-round distance, where the unbeaten Brit claimed a well-earned unanimous decision this past September in Leeds, England.
The fight with Algieri represents the first former major titlist on Benn’s resume.
Algieri (25-3, 9KOs) is coming off a ten-round decision over former title challenger Mikkel LesPierre this past August at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The win ended a two-year layoff for the 37-year-old from the Huntington section of Long Island, New York who has won his last four starts.
The win streak comes after having last three of four bouts—all to former or current world champions—following his twelve-round split decision win over Ruslan Provodnikov in June 2014 to win the WBO junior welterweight title. The feat paved the way for a lucrative showdown with Manny Pacquiao, where Algieri lost a lopsided decision in a failed bid to win the WBO welterweight title. Algieri then came up just short versus former 140-pound titlist Amir Khan before suffering his lone stoppage the defeat at the hands of Errol Spence prior to the unbeaten Texan’s current unified welterweight title status.
Four wins followed, though the last of which came following a 26-month ring absence. The fight with Benn will mark his first in the United Kingdom and just second overall outside the U.S.
“This has a big fight feel to it and I’m thrilled to be back on this type of stage," said Algieri. "The UK has brilliant fans and I’m looking forward to performing in front of those legendary crowds. December 11 with be a masterclass with me utilizing my deep bag of skills and experience.
“Benn is hungry and tough but this is a huge step up in class for him. I’m coming to show that it’s not his time yet. I still got the goods and the world will see it once again come fight night."
The show also includes undefeated and undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor in a title defense versus an opponent to be determined in the week ahead.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox