Conor Benn secures statement knockout against Chris Algieri as father’s shadow begins to fade

A straight one-two sent Algieri lolloping to the canvas at the end of the fourth round

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Sunday 12 December 2021 03:46
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<p>Conor Benn (right) is embraced by father and boxing icon Nigel Benn </p>

Conor Benn (right) is embraced by father and boxing icon Nigel Benn

Conor Benn secured a statement knockout win over Chris Algieri on Saturday night, finishing the American late in the fourth round to retain his WBA Continental welterweight title.

The victory in Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena also saw 25-year-old Benn, son of boxing icon Nigel, extend his unbeaten run to 20-0 (13 KOs).

Algieri, a former WBO junior welterweight champion, returned to the ring in August after two years out, and the 37-year-old looked somewhat tentative on Saturday night despite staying light on his feet throughout.

Although the American raced to the centre of the ring at the start of the main event, which followed Katie Taylor’s points win against Firuza Sharipova, he was soon backed up by Benn.

The Briton quickly established what would be his predominant tactic, firing off hooks to the body. Before long, Algieri was breathing rather heavily, though he continued to bounce on his feet.

Benn remained on the front foot in the second round, sliding a jab between Algieri’s high guard early on, but his pressure was measured and intelligent.

Following further attacks to the body of Algieri, Benn mixed things up with a left hand to the head of his challenger, who was looking increasingly uncertain.

Again Benn followed a hook to the body with a hook to the head – both shots coming off the left side – with the second strike sending Algieri sprawling.

Benn targeted Algieri’s body with hooks throughout

Although it appeared to be ruled as a knockdown, Algieri seemed to have tripped over Benn’s foot as the last punch landed.

In any case, it had been another promising round for Benn, who carried momentum into the third frame, while Algieri failed to string together any combinations of note.

In stark contrast, a loose Benn backed up his opponent against the ropes with powerful right hands, before landing a right straight to the head then a left hook to the body. The clever combination drew applause from the crowd in Liverpool, and Benn finished the round by displaying fine control of range, just evading a one-two by Algieri.

One of Benn’s right hands had cut the right eye of Algieri, but the worst was yet to come for the former kickboxer.

Just when the American had mustered his best spell of the fight, landing numerous shots in the clinch early in the fourth round, Benn conjured the knockout blow.

After denting Algieri’s confidence again by dodging a series of jabs and landing a mean hook to the body on the angle, Benn stalked the American, who backed up against the ropes.

Benn feinted, as if crouching to target the body, then popped up to fire a straight one-two onto the jaw of Algieri, whose consciousness deserted him at once.

Algieri suffered a heavy landing after Benn landed the knockout blow

The 37-year-old momentarily froze, before falling forwards, lolloping to the canvas with two seconds left in the fourth round.

The referee’s count – as if it were necessary – reached 10, and Benn kept his celebrations brief as medical staff checked on Algieri.

The crowd expressed relief once the American sat up and was helped onto a stool, while Benn was announced as the winner.

Once fully cogent, Algieri embraced the Briton, who said in his post-fight interview: “I silenced all the doubters. ‘The next fight is going to be a test?’ They’re not tests.

“Nobody has done that to Algieri. What more do I have to do? I’m a top, world-level athlete. I didn’t expect nothing else. I work extremely hard.

Benn kept his celebrations brief as Algieri was checked on

“If they want to come and have a fight, that’s what happens. [Adrian] Granados didn’t come to win, it was so frustrating.

“2022, listen, [Amir] Khan or [Kell] Brook. Business is business, I’ll have the winner. We’ll fight [Adrien] Broner in America. If he don’t want it, I fancy [Yordenis] Ugas.”

Benn’s father Nigel then told his son: “You’re not in my shadow. After tonight... I watched him do 12 four-minute rounds – sparring, altitude training. He ticked every single box. Unbelievable, he’s going all the way.”

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