Conor Benn & Chris Eubank Jr’s bout CALLED OFF as failed drug test emerges days before bout but Hearn vows to fight it
CONOR BENN’S fight with Chris Eubank Jr has now been officially called off by the British Boxing Board of Control after a failed drug test.
But promoter Eddie Hearn vowed to contest the decision with ongoing legal talks following Benn’s failed drug test.
Saturday’s fight for the ages has been scrapped by the board after Benn was found to have traces of a female fertility drug in his system.
The BBBoC stepped in and declared the scrap is prohibited under their sanctioning, despite BOTH fighters wanting to continue with the bout.
A BBBoC statement read: “On the evening of 4th October 2022, the Board of the British Boxing Board of Control Limited resolved that the contest between Chris Eubank Jnr. and Conor Benn scheduled to take place on 8th October 2022 is prohibited as it is not in the interests of Boxing.”
The BBC has also changed Wednesday’s TV schedule and will not be airing the Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn ‘Born Rivals’ documentary on BBC One.
Just two days before the weigh-in it emerged Benn had failed a pre-fight drug test, which SunSport understands was taken on September 23.
He returned an adverse finding for clomifene, which is commonly used as medication to treat infertility in women who do not ovulate.
But it can also increase testosterone levels in men, which is why it is on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list.
SunSport also understands there could be an issue with a second test VADA took as part of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program — but promoters Matchroom refused to comment.
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Both Benn’s promoter Hearn and Eubank Jr’s in Kalle Sauerland said the fight will still go ahead.
But now the BBBoC have stepped in, meaning the fight cannot go ahead under their ruling.
Although Benn broke his silence to protest his innocence and claim the fight is still going ahead.
He said: “I’ve not committed any violations. I’ve not been suspended so as far as I’m concerned the fight is still going ahead.
“I’ve spoken to Chris personally and we both want the fight to go ahead.
“We’ve both taken medical and legal advice and as I said, we want the fight to go ahead for the fans.
“I’ve signed up to every voluntary anti-doping testing there is under the sun.
“Throughout my whole career I’m tested. All my UKAD tests have come back negative throughout my whole career.
“I’ve never had any issues before. Even in the lead up to this fight my test have come up negative.
“So my team will find out as to why there’s been an initial adverse finding in my test.
“But as I said, the fight is still going ahead. I’m a clean athlete and we’ll get to the bottom of this.”
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Benn’s claims of a conversation with his rival have been shot down by Eubank Jr himself.
He told Matchroom Boxing: “There was no phone call. We haven’t spoken since this was announced.
“It’s a shame. But my promoters, his promoters, the boxing board of control, they’re going to sort it out.
“I’m ready, I’m clean, I’m 60 per cent. I’ve been tested my entire career for the last 10 years. I’ve been tested more than I’ve ever been tested for a fight during this training camp.
“I have an app on my phone where I have to designate where I’m going to be every single day and I’ve been on that app for my entire career and I will be on it for the rest of my career.
“They can come and test me for blood and urine unannounced whenever they see fit and I’ve never failed a test. I’ve even been tested on holiday.
“I don’t condone failed tests.”
It’s with the lawyers going backwards and forwards right now
Hearn also spoke out following the board’s statements and revealed there are ongoing talks with lawyers.
He said: “We’ve just seen the British Boxing Board of Control’s statement, which is pretty straight forward.
“It’s with the lawyers going backwards and forwards right now. Both guys signed up to a multitude of testing for this fight.
“The UKAD testing, which is obviously the testing agency that the British Boxing Board of Control use and are governed by are all clear and negative.
“There was an adverse finding on a VADA test previously. So there’s not been an official doping violation there’s a process that has to be gone through.”
Hearn said Benn passed tests undertaken by UK Anti-Doping, meaning he will not face a suspension by the BBBoC.
He said: “Conor Benn is not suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control, ultimately he can’t be, because he passed all the tests from UKAD.
“But clearly the British Boxing Board of Control will take a position on it, we’ll deal with the lawyers.”
According to ESPN, Hearn is attempting to obtain a court injunction to allow the fight to go ahead.
Ever-bullish Hearn — who desperately needs a pay-per-view success for struggling sports streaming app DAZN — seems confident of overpowering the board, in the courts if he has to.
And he could use another nation’s boxing governing body, like Malta or Luxembourg, to get the fight on — but would also face a vicious backlash.
The catchweight clash of 157lb was set to take place almost 30 years after their dads’ famous rematch, which ended a draw.
Eubank had won the brutal original bout three years prior.
It sent up a next generation fight for their sons three decades later, set to bank the duo around £3.5million.
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