Conor Benn definitely doesn’t expect to blow out Adrian Granados in his first fight since the emerging English welterweight knocked out Samuel Vargas in the first round.
Durability has been one of Granados’ greatest assets during a 12-year, 32-fight career in which he has fought six former world champions. Danny Garcia is the only opponent who has knocked out Granados, who was dropped three times on his way to a seventh-round loss to Garcia in April 2019.
Benn and Granados will headline DAZN’s stream Saturday from Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, England (7 p.m. BST; 2 p.m. EDT).
“He’s definitely a step up,” Benn said of Granados during a virtual press conference Tuesday. “He’s a tough opponent. You go into every fight at this level now is hard work. So, you know, you prepare for hard work. You prepare for a hard 12 rounds. If it goes any sooner, then lovely.”
Granados (21-8-3, 15 KOs, 1 NC) has gone the distance with Shawn Porter, Robert Easter Jr. and Adrien Broner in recent years. The Cicero, Illinois, native’s 10-round, split-decision defeat to Broner in February 2017 stands out to Benn (18-0, 12 KOs), the son of British legend Nigel Benn.
“I know he’s fell short a few times,” Conor Benn said. “And when I mean short, I mean really short. You know, the fight with Adrien Broner, I believe he won. Robert Easter, Shawn Porter, I mean, you’re talking the best fighters of our era. So, he’s been in there with all them and just fell short of a few.”
The 24-year-old Benn senses Granados is underestimating him as their 12-round fight approaches. Benn believes he’ll make Granados realize quite quickly that, despite Benn’s limited amateur background, he belongs in the group of the top opponents Granados has faced.
“It’s definitely a steppingstone on my way to the top, but so is Vargas and [Sebastian] Formella,” Benn said. “But he’s definitely a better test. I mean, he keeps talking about how, ‘Oh, I’ve been in with the best. I’ve been in with this top boy.’ You’re in with another top boy. Do you know what I mean? When Vargas said, ‘Oh, I’ve been in with Amir Khan and Vergil Ortiz, etcetera, etcetera,’ I’m like, ‘Well, that’s your fault, that’s your mistake for not putting me up there, where I know I am. So, same with Formella, when he said, ‘Oh yeah, you know, I’ve been tested at a high level.’ Fine, so be it. But, you know, if you wanna find out the hard way, you’ll find out the hard way.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.