Conor Benn Fails Drug Test But Eubank Fight Still On
The highly anticipated Saturday night showdown in London between the son’s of U.K. boxing legends now has controversy surrounding it. This, as Conor Benn has tested positive for a banned drug prior to facing Chris Eubank Jr. in a scheduled 12 rounder.
Wasserman Boxing and Matchroom Boxing, who are co-promoting Saturday’s card, released a joint statement mid-day Wedensday upon the revealing that Benn had tested positive for a banned substance.
— Wasserman Boxing (@WassermanBoxing) October 5, 2022
“We have been made aware that a random anti-doping test for Conor Benn conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association returned an adverse analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug,” Matchroom Boxing said in a press statement. “The B sample has yet to be tested, meaning that no rule violation has been confirmed. Indeed, Mr Benn has not been charged with any rule violation, he is not suspended, and he remains free to fight.
“Mr. Benn has since passed a doping control test conducted by the UK Anti-Doping Agency, the anti-doping authority to which the British Board of Boxing Control has delegated its doping control testing for the bout. Mr Benn has passed all doping control tests conducted by UKAD. Both fighters have taken medical and legal advice, are aware of all relevant information, and wish to proceed with the bout this Saturday,” the statement reads.
A key part of that statement is that despite the knowledge that Benn had failed the anti-doping test, both fighters have agreed to proceed with their non-title bout Saturday night.
The Daily Mail in London reported Wednesday that Benn has tested positive for Clomifene, a drug that is primarily prescribed to women as a fertility treatment. However, it is a banned drug by the World Anti-Doping Administration (WADA) because it can increase testosterone in men.
Benn (21-0, 14 KOs), 25, is the fighter on the rise and a growing attraction in the U.K. who has stepped up his competition over the past two years with eye-catching knockouts of Samuel Vargas, former junior welterweight titlist Chris Algieri and Chris van Heerden and a one-sided decision over Adrian Granados.
Eubank (32-2, 23 KOs), 32, who is trained by Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr., has been in other notable fights, having held an interim middleweight belt and challenged for a super middleweight world title in a decision loss to countryman George Groves in 2018. Eubank has beaten former titleholders Arthur Abraham and James DeGale, contender Matt Korobov and most recently outpointed Liam Williams in February. His only other loss was a split decision to Billy Joe Saunders for the European, British and Commonwealth middleweight titles in 2014. Since the loss to Groves, Eubank has won six fights in a row.
Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank Sr., both former middleweight and super middleweight titleholders, fought twice in huge events that aired on British free television. Eubank knocked Benn out in the ninth round of a WBO middleweight title fight in 1990 and they fought to a disputed split draw before some 47,000 in a WBC/WBO super middleweight unification fight in 1993.
The sons of the legends are headlining the DAZN/Matchroom card at a “catchweight” of 157 lb., which is 10 lbs. greater than the welterweight limit Benn has been fighting at. And that weight is a drop down from middleweight or super middleweight, where Eubank, Jr. has been fighting.