Hearn offers update on Benn v Pacquiao as London options emerge | Boxing | Sport

Hearn offers update on Benn v Pacquiao as London options emerge | Boxing | Sport

Eddie Hearn says Conor Benn could compete against Manny Pacquiao in the UK. The 27-year-old has enjoyed an excellent start to his boxing career, having won all 23 fights and he previously held the WBA Continental (Europe) welterweight title.

However, his career stalled following his two failed drug tests in 2022 prior to a fight with Chris Eubank Jr, which was subsequently cancelled. Benn has had two fights since then, the first being a win over Rodolfo Orozco via unanimous decision in September 2023, before beating Peter Dobson in the same fashion in February.

Now Benn is eager to step back into the big time and he is keen to do that against one of the greatest boxers of all time. Hearn appeared on iFL TV to discuss the potential fight and revealed that London could host the bout should the two boxers come to an agreement.

“We all want to make that fight. Manny flew in for talks and to watch the show in Saudi, so that’s what we’d like to do,” the boxing promoter said. “We are waiting for the Conor Benn announcement from the appeal. We were told within two weeks, it’s now nearly for weeks.

“So any day we’ll be getting the result of that appeal. It’s not in our hands, it’s in the hands of the panel, and that will determine where Conor’s next fight will be. Quite frankly, we could do Conor Benn vs Manny Pacquiao in a stadium in London. It’s a fight I like. He’s [Pacquiao] an eight-division world champion, I think it’s a 50/50 fight at this stage, to be honest.”

Both Benn and Pacquiao engaged in a face-off in Saudi Arabia at Thursday’s weigh-in for Anthony Joshua’s fight with Francis Ngannou. Though Hearn says the bout could be held in London, there is no chance of that happening until Benn is cleared to fight in the UK.

It was announced in July he had been cleared by an independent National Anti-Doping Panel but the BBBoC and UK Anti-Doping appealed the decision to lift his provisional ban. The boxer’s last two flights have taken place in the US as a result, and Benn said he thinks Saudi Arabia is a more likely place to stage a potential bout with Pacquiao.

“We’re out here to enjoy the boxing, me and Manny Pacquiao,” Benn told DAZN. He’s a legend, an icon. There are levels to this game, he’s achieved everything that any young fighter could wish to achieve. If it happens, I’m sure it’ll be here in Saudi.” He added: “I say to that, he [Pacquiao] wants to fight me,” he said. “He’s mentioned my name, his manager [Sean Gibbons], but also it’s not like I haven’t chased the 147s. How many times have I got to mention the 147 names? 

“And there’s videos out there saying that they don’t want the fight, that I’m not a big enough name, or I’m not ranked or whatever – [Derek] ‘Bozy’ Ennis was saying… so what do you want me to do? We called for [Mario] Barrios, we called for [Yordenis] Ugas, we called for [Keith] Thurman… So it’s like, what do you want me to do? If a legend wants to share the ring with me, it would be my honor.”

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