Conor Benn refused application to box in the UK after failed drugs tests

By Sports Desk November 29, 2023

Conor Benn’s hopes of fighting Chris Eubank Jr in the UK have been dealt a blow after the British Boxing Board of Control rejected an application to stage the bout in this country.

Robert Smith, general secretary of the governing body, told talkSPORT on Wednesday that the BBBoC made the decision because it believes the investigation into Benn’s two failed drugs tests remains ongoing.

Benn and Eubank Jr had been due to fight in a catchweight contest last October, but the bout had to be cancelled days out from the event after Benn tested positive for banned substance Clomifene on two occasions.

It resulted in Benn being hit with a provisional suspension and while it was announced in July that he had been cleared by an independent National Anti-Doping Panel, the BBBoC and UK Anti-Doping appealed against the decision to lift Benn’s provisional ban.

Benn was able to fight for the first time in 525 days in September but his unanimous points victory over Rodolfo Orozco had to be staged in Florida.

It did still appear to open the door for a long-awaited clash with Eubank Jr, but talks over a potential February 3 date could now be scuppered.

Smith told talkSPORT: “The Board feel that any athlete, not just a boxer, but any athlete who has failed a drugs test needs to go through an investigation with the proper authorities and that hasn’t happened.

“We’re waiting for that to happen and the Boxing Board and UKAD have been pushing for that to happen right from the beginning of this and unfortunately it’s been delayed, not through the Boxing Board of Control or UKAD, but through other parties.

“With regard to Mr Benn boxing in this country, we have had an application for him to box in this country, that has been refused.”

The PA news agency has contacted promoters Matchroom and Wasserman Boxing, but both have declined to comment.

Benn and Eubank Jr traded blows over social media on Monday night with the former teasing the date of the proposed fight between the sons of old rivals Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank.

“I’ll remind you of this when you are being scraped up off the f****** canvas. Feb 3 I’m ending your career,” Benn said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

However, any potential fight to settle the feud may have to take place overseas or be licensed in England by an alternative boxing body.

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