Conor Benn eyes Amir Khan fight after clash with Samuel Vargas

Welterweight is next in action on 10 April as he takes on Canadian-Colombian Vargas

Alex Pattle
Thursday 01 April 2021 16:54
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Conor Benn in training ahead of his bout with Samuel Vargas
Conor Benn in training ahead of his bout with Samuel Vargas

Days before taking on Samuel Vargas, Conor Benn has set his sights on a potential clash with Amir Khan, with the welterweight also identifying Kell Brook as an ideal opponent.

Canadian-Colombian Vargas (31-6, 14 KOs) challenges Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) for the undefeated Briton’s WBA Continental title on 10 April, but the champion – son of boxing great Nigel Benn – is confident of a successful defence of his belt and appetising fights against compatriots beyond next Saturday.

“He’s an experienced fighter,” Benn said of Vargas, via Matchroom. “He’s got tonnes of heart. He’s got tonnes of grit and sheer determination that so many fighters lack. He brings the heat.

“This ain’t going to be a one-two lights out. It isn’t going to be one of them. This is going to be a hard fight. This is going to be me getting stuck straight in and us two going at it in there. It’s going to be one hell of a fight and that’s what I’m preparing for.

“He gave Amir Khan hell. Amir Khan got saved by the bell and by the grace of God three or four times in that fight. He had him on the deck. I know Khan’s chin isn’t that credible but he’s a well-respected fighter. He’s achieved everything that I want to achieve in the sport. This is going to be a harder fight than people think in my opinion. 

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“I made the mistake once of overlooking an opponent and I hit the deck twice [against Cedrick Peynaud in December 2017]. I can go back to that fight because it was a career-defining moment for me. I had to ask myself how badly I wanted it. It taught me to never overlook an opponent. I thought: ‘What’s he going to do to me?’ Boom, straight one-two. 

“That was a massive reality check for me. Since then I don’t overlook opponents. I’m not overlooking Vargas, but what doors open after him? I want a big domestic fight still. Someone that I can take that experience off.

“The Amir Khans, the Kell Brooks. The Josh Kelly fight is still there if he’s still fighting. The Amir Khan fight would be one hell of a fight. That would be a great British clash. Amir Khan was a fighter I looked up to and so was Kell Brook. Why not put me in with one of them after Vargas?”

Former light-welterweight world champion Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) last fought in July 2019, beating Billy Dib via TKO in the fourth round.

Brook (39-3, 27 KOs), a former IBF welterweight titleholder, last competed in November, losing to Terence Crawford via fourth-round TKO.

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