Conor Benn admits he feels ‘battered and bruised’ and is ‘still healing’ despite UKAD clearing him over two failed drugs tests – and bemoans ‘losing a ton of money’ after last year’s cancelled Chris Eubank Jr bout
Conor Benn has detailed the immense physical and mental strain of clearing his name following UKAD’s recent decision to lift the ban on him fighting in the UK.
In his first interview following his exoneration, Benn said the past few months had been a ‘whirlwind of emotions’ and revealed he had struggled with feelings of shame during the trying period.
‘I’ve gone through so many emotions through all of this,’ he told Matchroom Boxing. ‘From angry to bitter to resentful to anxious.
‘It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and it’s been hard. It’s been challenging but the main thing is that I’m clear to fight in the UK.
Conor Benn revealed the strain the past year has had on his physical and mental health
Explosive British boxer Benn has held the WBA Continental welterweight title since 2018
Benn was due to face-off against Chris Eubank Jr (pictured) before the bout was cancelled
‘Mentally I didn’t deal with it great,’ he continued. ‘I didn’t respond to this great at all. I felt ashamed for something I hadn’t even done. I was penalised and persecuted for something I hadn’t done.
‘There have been a lot of haters, a lot of people who have turned which I’m very surprised about. But I’ve also be shown a lot of love and loads of support from people that I didn’t expect it from.’
He added: ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Don’t get me wrong I feel battered and bruised but I’m heeling.’
Benn maintained his innocence throughout the process and lifted the lid on the ‘hundreds and thousands’ spent on scientists hired to acquit him of the charges levied after traces of clomiphene were found in his samples.
‘The evidence has matched up to me proving [my innocence],’ he added. ‘What more do you want me to do? I’ve spent hundreds of thousands on this.
‘I’ve employed doctors, three scientists – the third best scientist in the world on this. And you lot still think I’m guilty when the evidence matches up to case studies done by WADA.’
He continued: ‘The reality is I’d spend my last cent, if this house had to go, cars had to go – if everything had to go so I could clear my name I’d do it all over again.’
Benn maintained his innocence and employed a team of scientists and doctors to prove it
Eubank Jr went on to suffer a fourth round defeat by TKO to Liam Smith (right) in January
The fighter, who still has the threat of possible legal challenges around his return to the ring looming over him, announced his intention to work with UKAD to ensure that other fighters avoid a similar ordeal.
‘I hope our work with UKAD continues,’ he added. ‘Even though this could be done now and I could just get started with my career, we want to work with UKAD.
‘It’s something that I’ve expressed with my team is really important to me. Ensuring nobody else has to go through this because it’s not fair.
‘It’s not fair for those who can’t afford it who have to go through the persecution, who can receive bans. It’s not right. If I can change that then I’ll be a happy man.’