Conor Benn and Kell Brook were involved in a fiery ringside altercation before Katie Taylor’s undisputed light-welterweight showdown with Chantelle Cameron in Dublin on Saturday night. Benn, who has not fought since being charged over two failed drug tests last year, was in attendance to watch Taylor attempt to become a two-weight undisputed champion while fighting in her native Ireland as a professional for the very first time.
Benn was caught on camera appearing to barge into Brook as he walked past the Sheffield-born former fighter, who was being interviewed at ringside and seemed to have been thrown off by the apparent shove in his back. Brook then turned to his left in order to confront Benn, drawing an aggressive response from the latter as he pushed his opposite number away.
Both men quickly squared up to one another before they were separated almost immediately as several people rushed in to prevent the situation from turning ugly. Benn was captured shouting in the direction of Brook as he was led away, while Special K looked bewildered as he elected to stay where he was rather than chasing after the 26-year-old in search of another confrontation.
Rumours have swirled in recent months that the pair could soon face each other in the ring in spite of Brook’s decision to retire from boxing after his victory over long-time rival Amir Khan last year. He previously hinted that he would be prepared to lace up his gloves one final time in order to fight Benn, but insisted that he would need to be paid a pretty penny in exchange for going back on his retirement.
“I think I’ve just been pushed and prodded by a fella we all know now, Conor Benn,” said Brook on talkSPORT earlier this year. “You know, a fighter’s a fighter, it’s always in me and I love the challenges. I’d love to show this young Benn what time it is. But, obviously we’ve got to sit down with his boss, Eddie Hearn, and his manager and come up with my service fee, which is going to be quite decent.
“This is my game, I’ve done it many times before and I know I had to just put myself in that prison and give myself completely and utterly to the sport and put everything into it. I am still in my mind the best welterweight, light middleweight out there, definitely in Britain anyway. Like I said, if we do sit down and I get that excitement once again and I take my slippers off and put my trainers back on then we could see me running them roads again maybe.”
Benn, meanwhile, has not fought since last April as a result of the ongoing saga relating to his failed drug tests and would not be allowed to face Brook in the UK as a result of the British Boxing Board of Control refusing to grant him a licence. It was also confirmed last month that the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) had provisionally suspended Benn, who has always maintained his innocence, after issuing formal charges against him.
A statement read: “UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) confirms that Mr Benn was notified and provisionally suspended by UKAD on 15 March 2023 in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules. Whilst provisionally suspended Mr Benn is prohibited from participating in any capacity, or assisting another athlete in any capacity, in a competition, event or activity that is organised, convened, authorised or recognised by the British Boxing Board of Control or any other World Anti-Doping Code-compliant sport.
“UKAD can also confirm that on 3 April 2023 it charged Mr Benn with an Article 2.2 violation for the alleged use of a prohibited substance (clomifene). The charge against Mr Benn is pending and will now follow the results management process in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules.”