Not surprisingly, Nigel Benn has come out sticking up for his embattled son.
The British boxing icon came to Conor Benn’s defense Friday after it was revealed earlier this week that he tested positive for the banned substance clomifene, thus scuttling what was supposed to be a generational grudge match with Chris Eubank Jr. this weekend in front of a sold-out crowd at the O2 in London. It is understood that the results of the test were known to the promoters a two weeks ago.
While the British Board of Boxing Control refused to put their imprimatur on the bout, the fighters and their promoters—Eddie Hearn of Matchroom and Kalle Sauerland of Wasserman—initially intended to move on with the show. Eventually, they did not prevail; the organizers issued a press release that the fight would be postponed (as opposed to outright cancelled).
Soon after news broke about the positive on Wednesday, Benn carried out a public workout and declared his innocence.
“I’ve not committed any violations,” he said. “I’ve not been suspended so as far as I'm concerned the fight's still going ahead.”
In a video posted on Instagram on Friday, his father rang a note of support, saying he was “in total shock” by the revelations and insisted that his son “doesn’t cut any corners.”
'Hi guys,” Nigel Benn said. “As you know, we're in total shock. I've been with my son for the last 10 weeks and the training has just gone absolutely the best it could have ever been.
“He's a dedicated trainer; he leaves no stone unturned and we'll get to the bottom of this. I love my son and I know he doesn't cut any corners, he just goes straight at it, 100 percent.
“We'll keep you informed. We'll let you know what the next step is, but he's a faithful trainer and he's a clean athlete. Speak to you all soon. God bless.”
Clomifene is a fertility drug, but it is known to offer men a competitive advantage by boosting their testosterone levels, which aids in muscle growth and recovery.
Eubank Jr.-Benn was supposed to be contested at a 157-pound catchweight so that the playing field could be leveled somewhat between Benn, a welterweight, and Eubank, a natural middleweight and super middleweight. In addition to having to lose more weight than he is normally used to, Eubank was also subjected to a rehydration limit, whose exact figure was never undisclosed.