Undefeated upstart Conor Benn has been banging the drums demanding a big-time bout as his coming-out party, and he just may get his wish.
Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn has revealed that he’s trying to pit Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) against former unified 140-pound champion Jose Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) in a summer showdown.
“We’ve made an offer to Top Rank [for July 9 at the O2 Arena in London],” Hearn told IFL. “It’s a fight that I like. Conor wants to fight Keith Thurman, which I think is a very, very [tough opponent]. I’d like to have one more before he fights Keith Thurman. I’m just being straight up, but he’s ready to go. Obviously, he was disappointed Kell Brook chose to retire.
“Jose Ramirez is the one that I would love to get [for Conor]. The money that DAZN would pay for a Ramirez fight and the money they’d pay for an [David] Avanesyan fight – if I can get Jose Ramirez over Avanesyan, no disrespect, we have to do that. If we can’t get a big name, we would consider Avanesyan. Benn-Avanesyan, does that sell out the O2?
“Not a lot of people know who Avanesyan is. He’s a great fighter, but I would like a big name that resonates worldwide. If I can get Jose Ramirez for Conor Benn, I’m sure anyone with a brain would understand that’s a bigger, better fight for the global profile of Conor Benn.”
The 2012 United States Olympian Ramirez has campaigned exclusively at junior welterweight throughout his career but has alluded to a move up to 147 pounds recently, the division Benn currently fights in.
The 25-year-old Benn has made easy work of credible contenders in his last five fights dating back to 2020, including: Sebastian Formella, Samuel Vargas, Adrian Granados, Chris Algieri, and most recently in April, Chris van Heerden.
The Fresno-native Ramirez, 29, bounced back from first career loss to Josh Taylor last year in an undisputed championship bout by beating Jose Pedraza in March via unanimous decision.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.