After a dominant points win over Adrian Granados last weekend, Conor Benn (19-0, 12 KOs) has reaffirmed his desire to face four-weight world champion Adrien Broner next and while many have been quick to criticise his messy decision victory in Leeds, the 24-year-old’s plan is clear.
Benn bullish about how he’d match up vs. Broner
Benn outworked and outboxed a largely negative Adrian Granados during their ten-round welterweight bout, earning 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93 scores from the judges watching ringside.
Given his straight-talking persona, the 24-year-old was left annoyed by the fact he couldn’t secure another emphatic knockout like his fast finish against Samuel Vargas in April.
But promoter Eddie Hearn said it best afterwards, in what they’re using as gradual step-up fights to help build Benn’s profile and boxing prowess – even if it’s still worryingly reckless at times.
Is he ready for Broner? “Perfect fight for him. He’ll be frustrated because he wanted to come out, do his normal destruction job, sometimes people like Granados feel the power early, come to survive. He was wild early, needs to do rounds. A solid ten in the bank, now we move on to a big fight in December.”
- Eddie Hearn, ringside immediately after Benn’s decision win last weekend
Benn previously called out big names like Amir Khan and Adrien Broner before this latest bout, and has doubled down on the latter as Hearn revealed he’s already begun negotiating terms with Broner’s manager Luis DeCubas over a potential matchup in December or early 2022.
Why the Broner callout makes sense
While they haven’t settled on a price, AB stressed the importance of fighting regularly after a somewhat underwhelming return win over Jovanie Santiago – his first victory for four years.
When questioned about wanting more activity, he said this at the time:
“Two mo’ [fights this year], three if I can. If they don’t get me in the ring, I fuck around and be fightin’ some mo’ cases, bro. I don’t know, trouble just find me somehow. The only way I stay out of trouble is if I’m training.”
Yet, seven months later, we haven’t heard anything besides this proposed matchup and even that isn’t set in stone.
Broner is 32, another big name, and has faced multiple world-class fighters – from former welterweight champion Shawn Porter and Mikey Garcia to future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao and Marcos Maidana, the latter inflicting his first professional loss eight years ago.
Many believe he’s past his best, so it makes sense that Hearn and co are targeting him for Benn – another acid test as he slowly works his way up a list of credible contenders outside the top elite.
“I’ll have him here at the O2, a stadium out in America, it doesn’t bother me. Broner is definitely an opponent I’d love to fight and share the ring with this year. I won’t shy away from anybody and if he wants it, I’ll give it, no problem.”
Per BoxRec, Broner is ranked #15 as far as the world’s top welterweights are concerned. Those just below him include former title challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas (#16), Benn (#18) and Vergil Ortiz Jr’s conqueror Maurice Hooker (#21) among others. Those just above him?
They’re all in world title contention, or have been – including rising American young star Jaron Ennis, #1 IBF contender Kudratillo Abdukakhorov and WBA interim titlist Jamal James.
Elsewhere is Russia’s David Avanesyan, who will defend his European title against Liam Taylor on October 2. After inflicting Josh Kelly‘s first professional defeat with a sixth-round TKO win in February, the 33-year-old has successfully defended his European strap three times since two high-profile defeats by Lamont Peterson (February 2017) and Kavaliauskas twelve months later.
His manager, Neil Marsh, has been vocal about a willingness to face Benn next – provided he comes through unscathed next month. However, Benn’s handlers have honed in on Broner and it’s a much lower-risk fight with higher scope for reward considering the US audience interest.
Picture source: Getty Images