Eubank Jr. Targets IBO Title After Benn Negotiations Fail

Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Connor Benn is now officially off. 

That is according to Eubank Jr.’s promoter, Kalle Sauerland. Benn’s legal troubles following his two failed VADA tests for Clomiphene scuppered the fight. UKAD suspended the boxer in April, after which the National Anti-Doping Agency removed the suspension. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) and UKAD appealed it as Benn must clear his name through a hearing before he can fight in the UK. The boxer can fight outside the UK, as shown when he beat Rodolfo Orozco in Florida. That failed to create a Eubank-Benn fight since their fanbase is in the UK, so the fight is off. 

“The Conor Benn discussions – unfortunately – have ended. That fight commercially couldn’t be made and yesterday the IBO have ordered their mandatory. A very tough 19-0 knockout specialist champion so we’ll be negotiating that now. I can just put it down to commercial reasons. I’m not gonna go into too much detail,” Sauerland 

Eubank could target a fight with Etinosa Oliha, the IBO middleweight champion. Oliha is undefeated in 19 fights, allowing Eubank to give him his first loss. A win sets Eubank up for potential huge fights at 160 against the WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. The American is a big name and recently returned from mental health struggles to dominate Jose Benavidez Jr. to win a unanimous decision. There is also the possibility of a unification with Erislandy Lara or Janibek Alimkhanuly. Moving forward, Eubank has plenty of options.

“I think the IBO is a belt that he’s worn in the past and it’s a belt he’s had many big fights with and it is what it is. It’s about getting into those big fights, it’s a tough challenge, it’s a champion who is 19-0, undefeated, a big knockout boxer. So, ultimately we’ll see what happens with those negotiations. It’s been mandated so we’ve got to work out does that go to a purse bid or do we find a deal with them?” Sauerland stated 

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