The sooner Conor Benn accepts he will never be embraced as a boxing hero, the easier the next phase of his career will be, according to Chris Eubank Jr.
Eubank Jr. and Benn were originally scheduled to fight each other in a highly anticipated generational grudge match in October, but their fight was scuttled after it was revealed that Benn tested positive for a banned substance, clomifene, a fertility drug that can promote the growth of testosterone levels when used by men. It was later revealed that Benn had tested positive for the same substance in the summer, something that neither Benn nor his handler, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, failed to disclose at the time of the initial revelations, thus giving the wrong impression to the public.
Benn has since relinquished his license with the British Boxing Board of Control, a move interpreted by many as an admission of guilt. He still has a pending case with the World Boxing Council, which dropped him from its rankings. According to several reports, Benn submitted a 270-page document to the WBC in a bid to clear his name. Benn took to social media before the holidays, assuring people that he believes he will be proven innocent.
Eubank, who is gearing up for a fight on Jan. 21 against Liam Smith in Manchester, addressed Benn’s latest remarks recently, advising his snakebitten adversary to fully lean into his new status in the sport as a villain.
"You’re going to have to be the bad guy now,” Eubank said in a video posted on his Instagram. “You’re going to have to be what I was for 10 years. You’re gonna have to accept being booed into arenas. You’re gonna have to accept being trolled on a daily basis. You’re going to have to come to terms with that and embrace it.
“You’re still gonna make money. People are still gonna watch you fight. You’re just not gonna be the golden child that you were built up to be. And that’s OK. Not everybody can be the good guy. I learned that very early on in my career. So we’ll see. Will the fight happen at some point? It’s likely. A year, 10 years, from now, eventually we will fight. But the main thing is that you man up and you do the right thing. That’s all I can say.”
As for Benn’s claim that he would be proven innocent, Eubank found that preposterous. Eubank was originally willing to give Benn a pass when the first positive drug test came to light but reversed course when he learned of the second test.
“It’s boring,” Eubank said of Benn’s insistence that he is innocent. “No one gives a sh!t. Sorry. An apology is all that you need to give to the fans. Not even to me. I’ll be OK. The people that bought tickets, the people that travelled, the people that paid money, that you let down. They deserve an apology. Not ‘oh, I’m gonna prove my innocence after failing two drugs tests.’
“The only way that you could prove your innocence is if there’s some video out there of you being pinned down by multiple males and getting jabbed in the ass with some type of syringe while you’re kicking and screaming and crying, saying, ‘Stop it!’ That is the only thing that could get you out of this situation, get you off the hook. Nothing else is gonna cut it. Sorry.”