Conor Benn’s application to box Chris Eubank Jnr in Britain has been rejected by the British Boxing Board of Control. 

The General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, Robert Smith, told Talksport that they do not consider the investigation into the positive drug test that Benn returned last year to be complete.

Over the past week, rumors that the fight was all but done for February 3rd at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have gathered momentum but Smith’s statement now throws that into doubt. 

The highly anticipated catchweight fight was initially due to take place last October but was cancelled during fight week when it came to light that Benn had returned a positive test for the banned substance clomifene. News of a second failed test for the same substance followed shortly thereafter. 

In July, Benn’s suspension was lifted by the independent National Anti-Doping Panel but the British Boxing Board of Control and UK Anti Doping have appealed that decision. That appeal process is ongoing.

Benn returned to action in September - outpointing Rodolfo Orozco in Orlando - but hasn’t boxed in Britain since beating Chris Van Heerden inside two rounds in April 2022.

"The Board feel that any athlete, not just a boxer, but any athlete who has failed a drugs test needs to go through an investigation with the proper authorities and that hasn't happened,” Smith told Talksport.

"We're waiting for that to happen and the Boxing Board and UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) have been pushing for that to happen right from the beginning of this and unfortunately it's been delayed, not through the Boxing Board of Control or UKAD, but through other parties.

"With regard to Mr. Benn boxing in this country, we have had an application for him to box in this country, that has been refused.

"They can put out what they want ultimately, but they haven't been through the proper authorities and as I said before we're really keen to get this done right from the beginning.”

Promoters will now have to decide whether to move ahead with plans to stage the fight in Britain - in which case an alternative body would need to be found to license the fight - or take the fight abroad.