Eddie Hearn hasn’t given up hope trying to make the accursed fight between his welterweight charge Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr.
Earlier this week it was announced that Eubank’s rematch with Liam Smith had been postponed for a second time. The two were set to fight in a middleweight bout in Manchester on June 17, but Smith suffered a back injury, leading the organizers to reschedule the fight for July 1. But with a recent flare-up to Smith’s injury, that date is no longer in play. A new date was not announced.
Smith shocked the boxing world in January, when he stopped Eubank, the heavy favorite, in the fourth round. After Eubank activated his rematch clause, there were suggestions that he could look to turn his attention to revisiting a fight with Benn, whose two positive drug tests last year led to the cancellation of their high-profile 157-pound catchweight bout.
News of the second postponement sparked talk once again that Eubank could be looking at a Benn fight.
That much was confirmed by Benn’s promoter, Hearn, who has been trying to place Benn in a fight card outside his homeland of England for the past couple of months.
“Talks have been going on for nearly a while,” Hearn said of Eubank-Benn in an interview with Boxing News. “We nearly made that fight before the Liam Smith fight. Now that that (the rematch) has fallen through, I think there is another opportunity to do so. I think it's been over a year now since we made that fight initially. I want to make that fight. [Eubank promoter Kalle] Sauerland wanna make that fight. It’s the biggest fight for both.
Hearn said his priority is to make Eubank-Benn in England, but as Benn has not been cleared to fight in his homeland, it is not apparent if that is feasible anytime soon. Benn was formally charged by United Kingdom Anti-Doping with a doping violation last month and is currently under provisional suspension by the organization. He also voluntarily relinquished his license with the British Boxing Board of Control last year.
There was talk in the spring that Eubank-Benn could land on June 3 in Abu Dhabi, where Benn would be relatively free from the regulatory reach of the British board.
Hearn had also floated the possibility that Benn could fight on June 17 in New Orleans on a card topped by headliner Regis Prograis, but that appears no longer to be in the works either.
“I want to do it in England and to do that we still have to go through this process with UKAD which is moving at speed behind the scenes,” Hearn said. “If we can’t do that, we’ll do it internationally. But I want to get it made. I know there’s a lot of controversy around it. We’ve been talking about Conor Benn for nine months, 10 months, a year now, nearly since this fight was made, and I’m ready to try and make the fight and I know Kalle will too.”
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