Conor Benn sits down with Radio Rahim for an interview where spends a lot of time reflecting on the fallout from his failed drug test and the way he’s publicly responded to all of criticism he believes he’s not deserving of.
Benn would soon admit that he probably should’ve not lashed out publicly as much as he has, and says he still wants to fight in England despite his previous comments to the contrary. Check out some excerpts below with the full 40-minute interview in the video link above.
Benn on his frustration with how he’s been publicly condemned for something he believes he’s not guilty of
“I was guilty before even having a chance. And I was a little bit bitter towards the public, a little bit bitter towards the boxing community. I was angry, I was emotional, I can’t help it. People know I’m emotional...I wear my heart on my sleeve and I say what I feel like I want to say. Maybe it wasn’t the right thing, maybe the way I dealt with it wasn’t right — and I know it wasn’t right, and I apologize to the public. They deserved more from me. They deserve more from me but in my head I’m bitter and angry because I’m seeing this every single day, ‘he’s guilty’...
“I responded with a cold shoulder and I never should’ve responded like that...I do regret the way I felt, the bitterness and anger.”
On anything he would take back
“I’d just like to say one thing, I’d like to fight back home. Me saying in an interview ‘I have no plans in returning to England immediately’ I take that back. I take that back because that’s my home and there’s a lot of supporters there and I’m not turning my back on them based on the minority that have a loud voice. So that’s one of the things I do take back...
“I don’t want to get involved in (the back and forth between Eddie Hearn and the BBBofC) to be honest. I just want to fight and it seems like they’re trying so hard to stop me from fighting when I put my ego aside, and I want to meet with the board. I want to talk to the board, I want to fight in England.
“All I can say is that we’ve tried to sort this, you know, that’s why we’re dealing now with UKAD, because we want to get this cleared up. They’ve been so inconsistent over the years, even with the (Amir) Khan situation recently...I’m a bit upset, yeah, I’m very upset as I’m one of their own. I’m am you guys. I represent you guys. I do everything I can to be the best for you guys. I want to deliver for you guys. So it’s like I’m a service to them, I’m a service to Britain. For them to then act like this, yeah, it’s a bit upsetting. But it is what it is, I can’t change it.
“As far as suspension or ban, we’re talking about it now. I hope that they see the truth, which is what it is, and give me the clear and that’s what we’re dealing with now...we’re dealing with UKAD now to get this sorted.
“I don’t know what it is, but what I do know is it’s all about public perception and the narrative that’s been pushed. This is all this is: politics, public perception, and the narrative that’s been pushed.”
On the lessons learned from this incident
“Seeing the snakes in the grass, the snakes in the grass. Learning about people, the world, how it works. That’s what I’ve learned from this. A naive kid, I was...I feel like this is now mentally like ‘ok, this is what’s what.’ And you have to go through things in life to gain wisdom. This is a blip in my career. All the greats have gone through adversity...it’s how you bounce back from adversity and greatness always comes from within.”