‘We haven’t spoken’: Chris Eubank Jr denies Conor Benn phone call claim

Eubank Jr has maintained he will have too much for Benn despite boiling down to 157 pounds

Jack Rathborn
Assistant Sports Editor
Wednesday 05 October 2022 17:14 BST
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Boxer Conor Benn insists he's a 'clean athlete' after 'adverse' drugs test result

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Chris Eubank Jr has denied speaking to Conor Benn after his rival returned an ‘adverse’ finding in a drugs test ahead of their grudge match on Saturday.

Benn, who maintains his innocence after “trace amounts of a fertility drug”, known as clomifene, were discovered in a Vada test, claimed that Eubank Jr believes in him.

But Eubank Jr has rejected that side of the story and admits he does have “concerns” following a dramatic day.

"There was no phone call. No, we haven't spoken. Absolutely, no phone call. We haven't spoken since this has been announced," Eubank Jr told Matchroom, with the British Boxing Board of Control “phohibiting” the fight.

"My promoters, his promoters, they'll sort it out. I'm ready, I'm clean, I'm 60 per cent, I've been tested my entire career. I've been tested more than I've ever been tested for a fight.

"I have an app on my phone to designate where I need to be every day. I'll be on that app every day for the rest of my career to come and test me. I've even been tested on holiday. I don't condone illegal substances, especially in boxing, health is a real issue.

"I'm staying out of the politics, I don't know what is going on. I heard the news like you have, all I can do is be professional and be ready to fight, as news unfolds, we'll deal with it.

"I've prepared and done my job, it's in the hands of the promoters and the governing bodies, to make this fight happen, all I can do is be ready.

“Of course there are concerns, listen, I can’t really say too much. I’m ready, I’m a clean fighter, I’ve cut the weight, I’m ready to go. It’s all unfolding.

“All I have to do is make sure I’m ready to go. I hope so, it should do, I’m ready, he’s ready, whatever the board is saying, they’re saying. Let’s not let the fans down.”

Moments before Eubank Jr’s media workout, Benn broke his silence, underlining his innocence and claiming to have held a conversation with his rival.

"I wanted to say this personally, I wanted you to hear from me personally,” Benn told Matchroom. “I've not committed any violations, I'm not suspended, as far as I'm concerned, the fight is going ahead. I've spoken to Chris personally.

"We both want the fight to go ahead, we've taken medical and legal advice we want the fight to go ahead for the fans.

“Throughout my whole career I'm tested, I've never had any issues before. My team will find out why there's been an adverse finding. The fight is still going ahead, I'm a clean athlete. We'll get to the bottom of this. I'll see you on Saturday.

"He [Eubank Jr] fully believes in me, it's not who I am, it's not what I'm about. He was understanding. We both want the fight to go ahead. As far as I'm concerned it is going ahead."

A joint-statement from promoters Matchroom Boxing and Wasserman detailed a collective intent for the fight to take place on Saturday.

Sauerland also told Talksport: “It’s a non-performance enhancing drug, but it can raise testosterone.”

Despite the news, Eubank Jr “wishes to proceed” with Saturday’s catchweight main event at London’s O2 Arena.

Benn and Eubank Jr are set to face each other in a 157lbs catchweight contest, which will see the latter cut three pounds more than usual while Benn moves up two weight classes.

Wasserman’s Kalle Sauerland, who represents Eubank Jr, told Talksport on Wednesday: “The instant reaction is, ‘The fight is off...’ [but] the fight on Saturday is on.

“You have to look into what it is; a banned substance is a banned substance, end of. The scenario around it... how it could come to that, why are the other tests not positive? There’s been a big mistake here.

“Has it been done as a PED [performance-enhancing drug]? No – that’s the medical opinions we have had.”

Benn and Eubank Jr’s fathers engaged in one of the most storied rivalries in British boxing history, with Chris Eubank stopping Benn in the ninth round of their first clash, in 1990, before they fought to a split draw in 1993 – almost 29 years to the day before this Saturday’s scheduled bout.

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