The decision follows Benn’s ongoing legal battle following his failed VADA tests for the substance, Clomiphene. The BBBofC initially pulled the fight between Eubank Jr. and Benn after the boxers had agreed to face each other in October 2022 due to the failed tests. Despite Benn continuing to claim he was innocent, UKAD suspended the fighter in April. Although the suspension has been removed by the National Anti-Doping Agency, UKAD and the BBBofC have appealed it. This was after claims that Benn’s defense was based on a technicality of whether UKAD could enforce the rulings by VADA. As a result, Benn would not be entitled to fight in the UK until the appeal concludes he is fit to do so since he did give up his British license. The head of the BBBofC, Robert Smith, confirmed this.
“The Board feel that any athlete, not just a boxer, but any athlete who has failed a drugs test needs to go through an investigation with the proper authorities and that hasn’t happened. We’re waiting for that to happen and the Boxing Board and UKAD have been pushing for that to happen right from the beginning of this and unfortunately it’s been delayed, not through the Boxing Board of Control or UKAD, but through other parties.
“With regard to Mr. Benn boxing in this country, we have had an application for him to box in this country, that has been refused. They can put out what they want ultimately, but they haven’t been through the proper authorities and as I said before we’re really keen to get this done right from the beginning,” Robert Smith
Those comments did not sit well with the Matchroom boxing promoter, who has continued to stand by Benn. But in reality, the chances of the fight being made overseas are slim. The demand is simply not there, as a mega-domestic clash in the UK would only generate the purses that both fighters would be demanding. However, Hearn did not rule out the fight, even if the news was a setback.
“Very disappointed to see Robert Smith come on Talk Sport and give his explanation without actually speaking to us, again choosing to go through the media. His comments actually were completely inaccurate and that will be dealt with today by Conor and his legal team. We believe Conor Benn is clear to fight, legally.
“For us the focus is on making the fight. And until the fight is made, really, it might be irrelevant. If we get it signed, then we will deal with the situation. I want this fight to happen in the UK, I want it to happen on February 3 at Spurs and I’ll do everything I can to make that happen,” Hearn stated