Conor Benn crushes Chris van Heerden in second round as high-profile welterweight fights edge nearer

The Briton remained undefeated and retained the WBA Continental welterweight title in Manchester

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Sunday 17 April 2022 06:00
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<p>Conor Benn secures the TKO win against Chris van Heerden</p>

Conor Benn secures the TKO win against Chris van Heerden

Conor Benn earned an emphatic victory over Chris van Heerden on Saturday night, stopping the South African in the second round to retain the WBA Continental welterweight title.

Benn, son of British boxing icon Nigel, remained unbeaten at 21-0 with the win, the TKO result marking the 14th finish that the 25-year-old has secured.

Benn had played down the significance of Van Heerden’s experience and southpaw stance all week, and so it proved that the 34-year-old was unable to trouble his younger opponent in the pair’s Manchester main event.

Although Van Heerden landed some well-timed shots as Benn ducked upon entries in the first round, the Briton was unfazed and pressed forward to connect with more powerful shots than his challenger could muster.

In the second round, Benn continued to back up the South African, throwing numerous feints but remaining out of range.

In a split second, however, Benn closed the distance with a jousting right hand, which marked the beginning of the end of Van Heerden.

Benn followed the punch with a left uppercut, before a variety of right hands – a hook, uppercut and overhand – sent Van Heerden crashing to the canvas.

The former IBO champion did not come close to answering the count, and the bout was waved off inside the first minute of the second round.

Benn celebrates his victory at the AO Arena in Manchester

Benn and Van Heerden embraced once the latter had gathered his senses, before the victor and his promoter Eddie Hearn discussed what will be next for the Briton.

They beckoned Amir Khan into the ring, though the 35-year-old – who was recently beaten by Kell Brook in a long-awaited grudge match – played down the prospect of a clash with Benn.

Benn claimed that Brook was similarly uneager to take him on, although Hearn suggested that the veteran would be an ideal next opponent for Benn, who has also long called for a fight with Russia’s David Avanesyan.

The 25-year-old did stress, however, that he is keen on pursuing world title fights.

Whoever awaits Benn, Hearn insisted that they will have to represent a serious step-up in competition for the rising contender this summer.

Benn talks to promoter Eddie Hearn in the ring after beating Van Heerden

Full results

Conor Benn def. Chris van Heerden via second-round TKO (0:59)

Chris Billam-Smith def. Tommy McCarthy via eighth-round KO (1:28)

Campbell Hatton def. Ezequiel Gregores via decision (60-54)

Alycia Baumgardner def. Edith Soledad Matthysse via unanimous decision (100-90, 100-90, 100-90)

Jack Cullen def. Vladimir Belujsky via decision (80-72)

Luke Evans and Miguel Cesario Antin fight to draw (56-56)

James Metcalf def. Evgenii Vazem via fifth-round TKO

Jordan Thompson def. Mariano Angel Gudino via second-round TKO (0:47)

Thomas Whittaker-Hart def. Ben Ridings via decision (78-74)

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