Saturday’s planned fight between Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn is reportedly off, with lawyers failing to get the fight approved via injunction.
Benn failed a VADA drug test, it was reported on Wednesday, but the fighters both said they “wished to proceed,” and Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn was adamant that the fight would go on, even after the British Boxing Board of Control “prohibited” the fight taking place on Saturday.
The news does not come as a major surprise, as Matchroom had postponed the start time for today’s final press conference, pretty clearly while working to keep the fight on.
Hearn already said earlier today that he would “not be promoting this fight with a foreign commission or alternative governing body on Saturday night,” which ruled out one backdoor scenario where you get it licensed by Luxembourg or somewhere, skirting around the BBBofC.
That, of course, would create a huge issue with Hearn and the BBBofC, so it’s the obvious right call. And in truth, the obvious right call is to not let this fight go ahead on Saturday. While Benn is not officially suspended and had passed his UKAD tests, the attempt to push this fight forward on Saturday smacked of pure greed and, frankly, some desperation.
Eubank vs Benn was set to be a major pay-per-view for DAZN in the United Kingdom, and Matchroom had invested heavily and hyped the fight very well. Without question, it’s a blow to lose this fight, and it comes right after a Sept. 24 event where Hearn noted that Matchroom took it on the chin money-wise when the original Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara main event was canceled, and they went on with the show anyway.
The general sentiment around the boxing world was that this fight absolutely should not happen as planned on Saturday, and now it appears it will not. We will know shortly if the rest of the card will go ahead at the O2 in London, or if it will be scrapped entirely.