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Boxing fans have reacted to the news that the British Boxing Board of Control has banned the highly anticipated Conor Benn-Chris Eubank Jr. match on Saturday night.
Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday that Benn, 26, had tested positive for Clomiphene, a banned substance typically found in female fertility treatments that also contains performance-enhancing properties, increasing testosterone production in men.
Despite a statement released shortly afterwards by Wasserman Boxing and Benn’s promotion team, Matchroom, led by Eddie Hearn, claiming the fight would still go ahead as planned, the BBBofC intervened to stop the proceedings.
Chris Eubank Jr’s (left) fight with Conor Benn (right) has been postponed by boxing authorities
On the evening of October 4, 2022, the Board of the British Boxing Board of Control Limited decided that the match between Chris Eubank Jnr. and Conor Benn scheduled to take place on Oct. 8, 2022, has been banned because it is not in the best interest of boxing,” the board said in a statement.
‘That was communicated to the Boxers and Promoters involved in the morning of October 5, 2022.’
The botched drug test and subsequent board intervention puts a stop to one of the most highly anticipated British battles in recent memory, involving the two sons of former enemies Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank Sr. going into battle in a catchweight bout that promised to be as captivating as their fathers’ fights 30 years ago.
The statement released by the BBBofC after uncertainty over whether or not the fight will take place on Saturday
Benn has returned a negative finding for a banned substance prior to his fight with Eubank Jr
In response to the news on social media, fans expressed disappointment at the fight not going ahead, but many accepted that it was the right decision.
“I am upset about the news about Eubank Jr-Benn, but it is the right decision. As a Benn fan I was very disappointed in him,” commented one social media user.
Another wrote: ‘Stripped, been looking forward to this British scrap for a long time, best.’
A supporter expressed anger at the situation and questioned the Matchroom fighter for his decisions.
‘I’m all smoking. I can’t believe this, what is Conor Benn playing with?’ they asked.
Another supporter, perhaps also pointing to the failure in talks between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua over their scheduled meeting on December 3, said that while it was disappointing and only added to the long list of British fights fans were denied, said it was the right call.
Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn had insisted the fight would still go on Saturday night
Wasserman Boxing and Matchroom issued a joint statement following the exclusive . from Sportsmail
“As disappointing as the whole thing is, this is the right decision for the sport. No fighter should be allowed to fight after cheating, but we are being robbed of some massive British fights this year,” they wrote.
In general, the consensus online has been one of anger and frustration – many pointing out that this is a broader boxing issue, a sport that always seems to be beating itself – but that no other decision could have been made.
“Rightly so, even if it’s disappointing,” wrote one social media user in support of the BBBoC.
Saturday’s fight would fall nearly 30 years after the second of two iconic battles between their fathers, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank (pictured)
On-the-spot sympathy for Benn and his promoter Hearn seemed meager.
“Benn lost a few million to them both,” one person wrote.
Another demanded an apology from Benn. Not only is this so upsetting for the fans like us who want to see the fight, but everyone involved should immediately apologize publicly, the way Conor Benn went through in his interviews was just shocking! Now look at a failed drug test!’ They wrote.
WHAT IS CLOMIFENE?
Clomiphene is a powerful female fertility drug that doubles as a performance enhancer.
It stimulates egg production in women, giving women who are having trouble conceiving the best chance of conceiving.
Still, studies suggest that when given to men as a daily pill, clomiphene triggers the production of testosterone.
Testosterone plays a key role in tissue healing, transporting oxygen and nutrients to the site of injury, aiding recovery. However, it also makes it easier to build muscle and provides a physical boost, which is why it is a banned substance in the athletic world.
Carl Frampton, a former two-weight world champion, had broken his ranks earlier in the day to express his dismay at the news that the fight would still go on despite Benn’s failed drug test. Shortly thereafter, the board intervened to issue a statement.
“Boxing isn’t doing itself any favors. There should be no gray areas. If you fail a test you will be suspended and in my opinion you should be banned for life,” the Northern Irishman wrote.
“Since my amateur days I have been super careful about what I can and cannot handle. I wouldn’t take a multivitamin unless the VADA approves it. I declined a topical psoriasis ointment because it had steroids in it. Deterrents have to be stronger,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, amid heightened confusion over Hearn’s comments on Wednesday afternoon, which were now a “back and forth” dialogue between the Board of Directors and lawyers, others expressed their confusion about the situation.
Hearn told Matchroom: “There is currently no reason in terms of offense or suspension not to let the fight go ahead. You’re not going to suspend Conor Benn, so at some point the fight is going to happen.”
One supporter called the sport a “mess”.
‘How’s this battle going? We need an absolutely clear explanation from Conor Benn himself on how this substance showed up in a test? Without something incredibly plausible, the whole fight is a sham and a dangerous one,” one person wondered.
“What the hell is going on?” asked DAZN presenter Ade Oladipo.
Of course, other fighters took the opportunity to offer themselves as a belated replacement for Benn.
Caoimhín Agyarko, a 12-0 fighter represented by Hearn’s promotion company, said: ‘Don’t tune the show, send me a contract, I’ll step in and fight Eubank is no problem.’