Conor Benn had his pre-fight presser ahead of his bout with Rodolfo Orozco on September 23rd, 2023, as the fighter will appear as a co-main event attraction on the Richardson Hitchins vs. Jose Zepeda card.
The boxer makes his return to the ring after more than a year out as a fight with Chris Eubank Jr. was called off following his two failed VADA tests. Although that may be the case, Benn’s actual defense has not been clear even with his comeback. This was despite Eddie Hearn’s admission that Benn was cleared. But when it came to the presser, both fighters were ignoring the background noise by focusing on what was ahead of them.
“There’s no pressure. I’m just going to go in there and do what I do, do what I love to do and what I was born to do. Saturday night has been a long time coming. I’ve had to jump through so many hurdles and this last year has been the hardest fight of my life.
So, what can he do to me? I’m just going to go out there and do what I do. If I see an opening, I will take it. He’s got to know that if I see an opening, I will take it. I say that twice because when I say, I mean it.
“He’s my World title fight. That’s how I treat every fighter. Irrespective of people saying this should be a warm-up or this should be a stepping-stone, I treat every fight like it’s for a world title,” Benn
“First and foremost, thank you very much to Matchroom. We’ve been waiting for this opportunity to fight here for a long, long time so, of course, we are going to put on a good show on Saturday night. I’ve been waiting and preparing for a fight like this for a long time. In previous months we’ve been waiting for a big fight like this, and they have fallen through. So, I am completely ready for this fight as I’ve been preparing all the time. We’re coming to win. Of course, it’s a huge opportunity for me. I am making my debut in this country, and we are coming to win,” Orozco
Robert Smith On Benn
And yet, the British Boxing Board of Control chief Robert Smith has hit back at Hearn’s comments about Benn being cleared.
Following Benn’s two failed VADA tests for Clomiphene, the boxer was suspended by UKAD in April. However, the National Anti-Doping Agency cleared Benn as UKAD and the BBBofC appealed it. In the aftermath, there have been question marks over the nature of Benn’s defense. Frank Warren has stressed that the defense has been based on jurisdictional grounds over whether UKAD can enforce VADA testing, as opposed to addressing whether Clomiphene was in Benn’s system. Therefore, Smith countered the notion that Benn had been cleared.
“Personally I don’t think he should be boxing until this matter is cleared. Hopefully that’ll be done as soon as possible. He hasn’t cleared it, a number of issues are still outstanding which everybody’s aware of. We’ve decided to appeal a decision and once the appeal has taken place we’ll take it on board from there. But when Eddie says he’s cleared his name, according to us we haven’t had an explanation of how the positive test came about, so I don’t quite agree with Eddie on that one,” Smith stated
Ultimately, Benn is allowed to box under the technicality of the rules. However, since an appeal is ongoing, there is a moral question over whether Benn should fight. And this was reflected in the comments that followed on social media.
Social Media Response
How anyone believes anything @EddieHearn says his beyond me
— The Big Dosser 🏴 (@thebigdosser1) September 21, 2023
He isn't cleared to fight, hence why it's not in the UK.
He's doing the usual and ignoring the failed tests when it's one of his fighters
— Pena Cartel (@PenaCartel) September 22, 2023
Not cleared of failed tests , cleared to fight to completely different things
— RichieRich (@richard81242885) September 22, 2023