In a significant announcement for the boxing world, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed on the Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel that welterweight fighter Conor Benn has been officially cleared by the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD). After a year-long saga involving adverse findings, Benn is now eligible to box in the UK, marking the end of a difficult chapter in his career.
“For us, it’s been just over a year now since we first learned of these adverse findings, and it’s been a brutal, painful year of work and belief and decisions to back an individual that we believed in,” Hearn said. “I can’t wait to see him fight. The nightmare, the chapter is over, and he can get back to his career.”
Conor Benn Cleared by UKAD
The decision was not based on jurisdiction, a detail that was erroneously circulated by some media outlets. Hearn confirmed, “This was not a decision based on jurisdiction. It was a big win for him and a win that means that he’s no longer suspended by UKAD, therefore clear to box.”
Given the anticipation for Benn’s return to the ring, many have questioned what kind of fighter he will be after such a long hiatus. Hearn expects to see a highly motivated Benn, “I’m expecting to see an absolutely vicious performance from a guy who is got so much pent-up aggression and determination that he’s ready to go in and destroy anyone in front of him.”
Despite the turbulent year, Hearn and his team never lost faith in Benn, standing by him every step of the way through the process. Reflecting on the journey, Hearn said, “It would have been so easy for us just to cast him to the side and say ‘Sorry mate, you’ve got to go through the process’. But we backed him every step of the way.”
Hearn also addressed the financial burden that Benn undertook to clear his name, including the cost of navigating the UKAD’s procedures, “He spent hundreds of thousands of pounds going through this route to clear his name, and now he’s done it.”
What’s Next For Conor Benn?
As for Benn’s future, Hearn envisions big fights on the horizon. He mentioned the likes of Kell Brook and Josh Taylor as potential opponents. However, Hearn also acknowledged the importance of careful planning for Benn’s career, “We’ve got to plan it right, we’ve got to do it right and we’ve got to make the most out of what God has given us.”
Speaking on Benn’s character and perseverance, Hearn added, “Love him, hate him, respect him, couldn’t give a monkey’s. Conor Benn is a young man now with a big career ahead of him.”
Although he hasn’t spoken directly to Benn since the announcement, Hearn shares his excitement for the fighter’s return to the ring, “I just can’t wait to see him, I can’t wait to see him in the gym, I can’t wait to see him ring walk, I can’t wait for the bell to ring. It’s been a long time coming.”
The full interview with Eddie Hearn on the Matchroom Boxing Youtube channel can be seen here
With the UKAD saga behind him, Benn is now set to move forward, putting the past behind him.