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BOXING

What does the WBC’s ruling mean for Conor Benn’s career?

A positive outcome by the WBC’s investigation will see the British welterweight reinstated to their fifth rank, but the BBBofC may not let him fight in the UK

Update:
A positive outcome by the WBC’s investigation will see the British welterweight reinstated to their fifth rank, but the BBBofC may not let him fight in the UK
ANDREW COULDRIDGEAction Images via Reuters

Eddie Hearn was emphatic last month when he insisted that Conor Benn would be cleared to fight “either early 2023 or mid 2023″ and suggested that a clash with Gervonta Davis could be on the cards.

It now seems clear that Eddie knew something that the public didn’t.

It has been reported that Conor Benn is expected to be cleared by the WBC and returned to their rankings following a three-month investigation into his positive tests for a banned substance.

What are the WBC’s findings?

Benn failed two separate tests conducted by the Volunteer Anti Doping Alliance, in June and in September of last year, which found the female fertility drug clomifene in his system. While used to increase egg production, clomifene is banned in boxing because it can also increase testosterone levels in males.

The WBC’s investigation has concluded that the undefeated fighter had suffered “accidental ingestion via contamination” as a result of his diet that included “heavy consumption of eggs”.

Is this the end of the controversy?

Benn’s case is still under review by the UK Anti Doping board and the British Boxing Board of Control, who could possibly disagree with the WBC’s findings. If that turns out to be the case, then Benn could be banned from boxing in Britain.

A British ban would push the 26-year-old WBC Continental Welterweight champion to simply book his fights in the USA or the middle east, with Saudi Arabia emerging over recent years as a favored choice for big-purse bouts.

Fight fans would likely not be too fussed by the issue, with Benn relatively unknown in the US, and the British fight public largely split in their loyalty to Benn and longtime rival Chris Eubank Jr.

Who is next for Conor Benn?

Whether or not Benn is reinstated by the BBBofC, his next fight is unlikely to be a British affair. Originally slated to clash with Eubank Jr prior to the controversy, it is unlikely that the bout could be resuscitated. Eubank has made it clear that as far as he is concerned, that ship has sailed.

Eddie Hearn was asked whether Liam Smith might be an acceptable opponent for Benn and he shot it down completely, saying that the matchup doesn’t interest him.

Benn is reportedly looking to try and make a bout with Gervonta Davis, likely in the US, as his return fight. The two fighters took part in a back-and-forth Twitter spat after Davis’ arrest on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in December.

After Davis had criticised Benn for the failed drug tests, Benn tweeted “@Gervontaa don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house little man”.

Tank clapped back “Get off them drugs and come holla at me. I’ll show you a glass house and a glass jaw you f*** bum! Cold bum at that!”

Benn came back with “Them threats don’t work here. Focus on staying out of prison.”

Eddie Hearn thinks that this matchup is the tastiest around at the moment, saying, “I love the fight, why not? Gervonta has boxed at 140, I’m sure he doesn’t mind fighting up at 147 pounds, or close to it.”