Adrian Granados will have to wait at least two more weeks for his chance to upset Conor Benn.
Promoter Eddie Hearn announced at the start of a press conference Thursday in Brentwood, England, that Benn tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning. The 24-year-old Benn’s illness forced him to withdraw on very short notice from their 12-round main event, which was scheduled to headline a card DAZN will stream from Matchroom Fight Camp on Saturday (7 p.m. BST; 2 p.m. EDT).
A 12-round bout between China’s Can Xu (18-2, 3 KOs) and England’s Leigh Wood (24-2, 14 KOs) has been bumped up to the main event to replace the Benn-Granados fight. Xu will defend his WBA world featherweight title versus Wood in their 126-pound championship match.
“It’s just the day and age that we live in now,” Granados said during the press conference. “You know, it’s unfortunate. Both Conor and I were very gung-ho about this fight. We were both excited for this fight. We were both chomping at the bit. And, you know, it’s just the day and age we live in, where, you know, anything can happen now. This unfortunate disease that’s just conquering the world right now, it just sucks. Like, I’m upset, you know, frustrated, but what can you do?”
The 31-year-old Granados (21-8-3, 15 KOs, 1 NC) was supposed to provide a step up in competition for Benn (18-0, 12 KOs) on Saturday night. The gritty Granados, of Cicero, Illinois, has faced six former world champions, including losses to Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner and Robert Easter Jr.
Hearn promised Granados on stage during the press conference that the veteran welterweight will get his shot at Benn as soon, within reason, as their bout can be rescheduled. Hearn mentioned either August 14 at Matchroom Fight Camp or September 4 as part of the Josh Warrington-Mauricio Lara card at Headlingley Rugby Stadium in Leeds, England, as possible new dates for their fight.
Hearn, the managing director of Matchroom Boxing, offered Granados a chance to fight a late substitute Saturday night. Granados passed because he wants to battle Benn as soon as the son of British legend Nigel Benn is healthy enough to fight him.
“I think you, Eddie, told me if I wanted to fight still you would give me somebody or whatever,” Granados said. “I’m like, ‘Nah, man. We know. See this? It says Benn-Granados. Like, let’s go.’ You know, this was the fight that was supposed to happen. Benn’s been talking a lot of stuff. You know, I’ve said some things, but I really just kinda wanted to get it on. Like they say, I was ready to rumble. And, you know, it’s just unfortunate. But I’m hoping for a speedy recovery from him, a full, 100-percent recovery. I don’t want no excuses. You know, it’s the 14th [of August] or the 4th of September. Either or, we’ll be 110-percent ready.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.