- Eddie Hearn is keen to hold Chris Eubank’s fight with Conor Benn in the UK
- The duo were set to meet last year but Benn failed two voluntary doping tests
- An appeal may not be heard until December or January, Mail Sport understands
As reported by Mail Sport, Hearn had agreed a deal for the showdown to take place in the Middle East on December 23 in the event that Benn is not cleared to box in Britain, but the promoter’s priority remains holding the bout in the UK.
Hearn has previously said there is a ‘huge desire from both camps’ to make the fight happen, exactly a year on from their first scheduled fight being cancelled.
Benn failed two voluntary doping tests but has insisted he is innocent of intentional doping. As it stands, however, he does not hold a license to fight in the UK.
But despite this, Hearn will look to officially set a date for the bout this week.
Eddie Hearn will push ahead to stage Chris Eubank Jr’s fight against Conor Benn in the UK
Promoter Hearn agreed a deal to stage the bout in the Middle East as a contingency option
‘We’re gonna move forward and make that fight in the UK,’ he told iFL TV.
‘This week we’re gonna try and get it over the line for Dec 23rd or January… If we stage the fight in the UK or Kalle Sauerland stages the fight in the UK – hopefully the BBBofC [will be the commission who sanction it] but it’s up to them.
‘We want to do the fight in the UK and I think we’re gonna move forward and do it.’
A provisional suspension imposed by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) was lifted by the independent National Anti-Doping Panel in July, but UKAD and the British Boxing Board of Control have lodged an appeal against that decision.
Mail Sport understands an appeal may not be heard, let alone resolved, until December or January – though Hearn wants Benn to be able to continue his career in the UK while the process remains ongoing and he is not suspended by UKAD.
Benn is not cleared to fight in the UK but has insisted he is innocent of intentional doping
Eubank’s camp are equally keen to make the fight happen a year on from the bout collapsing
Benn would need to apply for a BBBofC license to be granted permission.
‘Our side with Conor Benn and the side of Kalle Sauerland and Chris Eubank want to move forward and make that fight,’ Hearn added.
‘We feel that because of the situation with Conor Benn’s suspension being lifted and winning that case that he should be allowed and able to fight in the UK.
‘We’re speaking to the British Boxing Board of Control. We think legally there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be allowed to fight in the UK but it’s their decision.’
Last month, Benn won his first fight since his provisional doping suspension was lifted, a unanimous points victory against Rodolfo Orozco in Florida.