Chris Eubank Jr. has not ruled out a future meeting with a longtime bitter rival.
For now, the second-generation grudge match between the younger Eubank and Conor Benn is on hold. A drug testing scandal has forced a postponement of their awaited grudge match, which was due to headline a DAZN Pay-Per-View event this Saturday from The O2 in London. Ilford’s Benn (21-0, 14KOs) produced a positive test in mid-September for the banned substance Clomiphene as discovered through testing contracted by VADA.
“Conor got caught using an illegal substance, so the fight is off,” Eubank revealed Thursday through his verified social media accounts, shortly after a joint statement by event co-promoters Matchroom Boxing and Wasserman confirming the show as a whole was postponed. “Can’t believe it. I really [apologiz] to the fans & everyone that bought tickets, traveled & booked hotels, this should not [have] happened.
“He has escaped his schooling… for now.”
The event was in jeopardy on Wednesday, following a breaking news report from The Daily Mail revealing the positive drug test. The matter had already been discussed among Matchroom and Wasserman—headed by Eddie Hearn and Kalle Sauerland, respectively—who both agreed to move forward with the show, following extensive research conducted by Wasserman and Team Eubank.
Their desire to keep alive the fight was significantly trumped by the governing body due to oversee the event. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) announced Wednesday afternoon that the Eubank-Benn fight “is prohibited as it is not in the interests of Boxing. That was communicated to the Boxers and Promoters involved on the morning of 5th October 2022.”
It came as fight week events moved forward, as all the show’s participants took part in a media workout on Wednesday. Brighton’s Eubank (32-2, 23KOs) stated during an interview with hosts Darren Barker and Chris Lloyd that he was still prepared to fight, though acknowledging the event was at the mercy of the Board and the legal teams further discussing and exploring the matter.
"I've done my job, I've prepared,” stated Eubank. “It's now in the hands of the governing bodies and the promoters. It's just my job to be ready. Of course, there's concerns. I can't really say too much. I'm a clean fighter, I've cut the weight and I'm prepared."
The fight was due to take place at a maximum catchweight of 157 pounds, which would have represented a career-heaviest for Benn—who campaigns at welterweight—and Eubank who was coming down from middleweight.
Had the show moved forward, it would have come 29 years almost to the day of the October 1993 rematch between their more famous fighting fathers, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank Sr. who battled to a twelve-round, split decision draw in their WBC/WBO super middleweight title unification bout. The sequel came nearly three years after Eubank Sr. stopped Benn in the ninth-round of their November 1990 thriller to win the WBO middleweight title.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox