In a recent interview with TalkSport’s Jim White, Robert Smith of the British Boxing Board of Control gave his insight into Conor Benn’s upcoming fight and the ongoing controversy.
Conor Benn is set to re-enter the boxing ring against super welterweight Rodolfo Orozco in Orlando this Saturday, marking his first fight since failing two voluntary drug tests in the run-up to his match against Chris Eubank Jr in 2022. While Benn’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, maintains that Conor Benn is now cleared to fight, there remains significant controversy surrounding the decision.
Robert Smith Comments On Conor Benn Fighting
Robert Smith stated, “I’m not surprised [about Benn fighting]. Obviously he’s not licensed by the British Boxing Board of Control… if they’re happy for him to box, it’s up to them.” When questioned about the Board’s position, he said, “The only communication I’ve had…is from journalists in Florida and the Florida commission asking what the situation is… if they’re happy for him to box over there… ultimately it’s up to them.”
Speaking about the ongoing appeal against the decision to lift Benn’s suspension, Smith said, “We’re appealing along with UKAD… we’re just waiting for a date.” He firmly expressed his reluctance to speculate on the outcome, but he emphasized, “We were very disappointed in the original decision.”
On the potential for Benn to face Eubank Jr, Smith explained that they would “have to consider it very carefully.” Noting the wider implications, he said the decision “it will affect all sports, not just ours.”
Addressing Eddie Hearn’s comment on Benn having cleared his name, Smith was forthright: “He hasn’t cleared it… we haven’t had an explanation of how a positive test came about… I don’t quite agree with Eddie on that one.”
Jim White’s final questions to Robert Smith were particularly telling. When asked if he was comfortable with Benn fighting this weekend, Smith replied, “I don’t think he should be boxing until this matter is cleared… it’s taken too long to get where we are.” When asked if he’d watch the fight, Smith simply responded, “No.”
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