Eddie Hearn claims that Conor Benn vs Chris Eubank Jr is “very close” to getting made again with Abu Dhabi touted as a potential destination for the bout. The pair were scheduled to meet each other back in October, however, their fight was cancelled after Benn failed two pre-fight drug tests.
Benn returned adverse findings for the banned substance clomifene in sample A and B tests carried out by VADA and has been provisionally banned by the British Boxing Board of Control’s official anti-doping partner UKAD pending further investigation. The 26-year-old can still box in events not sanctioned under the auspices of the BBBofC and it appears Matchroom Boxing are exploring that possibility.
Matchroom chief Frank Smith recently visited the United Arab Emirates to discuss business with the oil-rich nation and Hearn has now hinted that Abu Dhabi is in the running to play host to Benn vs Eubank Jr.
He told Boxing Social: “I think we’re very close to making that fight. I’d be lying if I told you that we aren’t motivated to make that fight because we really want to make that fight, it’s a huge fight.
“Eubank wants the fight, Conor Benn wants the fight, I wouldn’t say I’m not involved in the fight but Frank Smith is leading the way. I will do whatever deals need to be done behind the scenes, I will pop up at any meetings that need to get anything over the line but I believe that will happen.
“When? That’s the key but that’s the fight to make. Could be August, could be September, could be December. It doesn’t have to be in Abu Dhabi. I’d love this fight to happen in the UK but there’s a lot going on with UKAD… But Abu Dhabi also know this is a massive fight and you’re going to sell out the Etihad, you’re going to have huge numbers of British fans flying over for that fight.”
In the meantime, Eubank Jr is currently preparing for his second fight with Liam Smith on July 1. The rematch was initially scheduled to take place in June but was pushed back to early July after Smith requested a delay in order to recover from a minor hand injury.
Their inaugural encounter produced a shock result as Smith became the first man to stop Eubank Jr with a vicious fourth-round knockout.