A battle that had been building for 30 years finally came to an end. It was expected that Chris Eubank Jr. (34-2) vs. Conor Benn (21-0) would be one of the week’s few noteworthy contests.
Eubank Jr. and Benn, scions of two storied boxing families, were set to renew a rivalry that began in the early 1990s, when Eubank Sr. faced Nigel Benn in a pair of thrilling fights for the WBO and then WBC middleweight and super middleweight crowns. Although neither Benn nor Eubank junior has achieved the same level of success as his champion father or grandfather, they have nonetheless built impressive careers in boxing and appeared to be in a good position for a high-profile bout.
Sky Sports reports that the fight scheduled for this Saturday has been canceled due to a “adverse analytical finding” in Benn’s pre-fight drug test, thus all that planning has been thrown out the window. At least one of Benn’s samples tested positive for the reproductive medication Clomiphene, according to the VADA. In the world of sports, the drug is frequently used to mitigate the aftereffects of steroid abuse.
“I am truly gutted that we are unable to make this fight happen on Saturday,” Benn announced, “and I’m sorry to everyone who has been affected by the postponement.
“I am still completely shocked and surprised by this and it has been a tough couple of days. My team and I will consider the next options including rescheduling the fight, but my immediate focus is on clearing my name because I am a clean athlete!”
“After discussions with various parties, we have taken the decision to formally postpone the bout between Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn. It is undeniable that the British Boxing Board of Control’s decision to withdraw their sanctioning was procedurally flawed and without due process. That remains a legal issue between the promoters and the Board which we intend to pursue.
“However, whilst there are legal routes to facilitate the fight taking place as planned, we do not believe that it is in the fighters’ interests for those to be pursued at such a late stage, or in the wider interests of the sport. As promoters, we take our obligations and duties very seriously, and a full investigation will now need to take place. We will be making no further comment at this time and news for ticket holder refunds will follow.”