Embattled British welterweight Conor Benn may not need permission from his homeland commission to make his return to the ring on foreign soil, but Eubank Jr. apparently is a very different story.

There is rampant speculation that Benn and Eubank Jr. are attempting to revive their failed bout from last October by taking it to Abu Dhabi on June 3. Eubank Jr. is coming off a fourth-round upset loss to Liam Smith in January. While Eubank Jr. has invoked his rematch clause with Smith, a deal has not yet been struck, which has apparently allowed him to hold talks with Benn.

All British boxers who wish to fight on home soil need to have an active license with the British Boxing Board of Control, the regulatory body for prizefighting. All licensed boxers, moreover, need the approval from the board to fight overseas—without it they run the risk of getting their license suspended.

Benn is under no obligation to get the nod from the board because he voluntarily relinquished his license last October, not long after it was revealed that he twice tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug.

While Eddie Hearn, Benn’s promoter, has been adamant about his desire to have Benn fight in his own country at some point, he has also made it clear that Benn will move on with his career without getting the blessing from the board.

In an interview with the Guardian’s Donald McRae on Tuesday, Robert Smith, the general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, insisted that Eubank Jr. would need the board’s approval before he can fight Benn in Abu Dhabi. 

“If the situation remains as it is today then I would think that would be unlikely (that Eubank gets approved),” Smith said. “But we have not had any applications.

Smith also indicated that Benn’s trainer, Tony Sims, would need approval from the board as well.  

“If any British license holder – boxer, trainer, etc – wants to fight in a tournament abroad with another commission they have to apply to us for permission,” he said. “Once we get an application from a British license holder to take part in an event abroad, we will be able to say yes or no.”

Smith said there are a variety of ways to impose penalties on those who decide to skirt protocol.

“I think common sense prevails,” Smith said. “We have a boxer who has recorded positive dope tests who hasn’t been cleared so it would be disrespectful to the sport [to grant permission].”

“I am not going to speculate but we can fine, we can suspend, we can withdraw. People have to have the right to explain why they have done this or that. So I am not speculating.”

Benn and the board have been at loggerheads ever since the drug scandal broke out last year. Benn, who was reinstated into the welterweight rankings of the World Boxing Council earlier this month, has threatened legal action against the board.