Conor Benn evidently is ready for the big boys at 147 pounds.
Benn knocked out Chris van Heerden in the second round of a scheduled 12-round welterweight bout Saturday at AO Arena in Manchester, England, his second consecutive stoppage of a veteran opponent.
The 25-year-old son of Nigel Benn KO’d stopped Chris Algieri in four rounds in December.
Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) came out firing at the opening bell, apparently looking for a quick knockout. The Londoner landed some hard shots in the first round but also took some counters from van Heerden, a southpaw from South Africa.
Conor Benn ices Chris Van Heerden to remain undefeated 🔥
— Boxing World UK 🥊🏴 (@BoxingWorldUk) April 16, 2022
Then, about 45 seconds into Round 2, Benn hurt van Heerden (28-3-1, 12 KOs) with a straight right hand, followed with a vicious flurry and van Heerden went down.
The referee took a good look at the fallen fighter and decided quickly that he couldn’t continue. The official time of the stoppage was 59 seconds of Round 2.
One Errol Spence Jr. had been able to stop the rugged van Heerden.
“Everyone thought [he] would be a problem. I’ll beat anyone in front of me. I’ll stand by that,” Benn said afterward.
Benn will now target an opponent on the next level, according to his promoter, Eddie Hearn.
“The most important thing next for Conor Benn is a big, big fight, a big step up,” Hearn said. “The test tonight was the experience, the southpaw Chris van Heerden.
“It took one round for him to get used to that before he absolutely demolished him. When you demolish the opposition like that, you need to make big jumps.
“Now it’s time for the more serious players in the division. … I’m talking about Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Adrien Broner, all these guys, David Avanesyan. We want a big fight, we want a marquee fight.”
A marquee fight for someone who is looking more and more like a marquee fighter.