Home News Eddie Hearn CONFIRMS 'we're in talks' for Conor Benn, 27, to face...

Eddie Hearn CONFIRMS 'we're in talks' for Conor Benn, 27, to face Manny Pacquiao, 45, as the Matchroom promoter claims the eight-weight legend is 'maybe even a slight favourite to beat' his fighter

3
0

Conor Benn is in talks to face boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn, who confirmed discussions to Mail Sport. 

Benn has been fighting a doping case for almost two years after the banned substance clomifene was found in his system, claiming the positive test could have been down to consumption of eggs.

Although his suspension was later lifted by the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) in July, Benn is still facing a potential two-year ban in the UK pending the outcome of appeals against that decision by the British Board of Boxing Control (BBBofC) and UK Anti-Doping, as first reported by Mail Sport.

In the interim, he has fought twice in America on a US license, as he awaits the decision, in Florida and Las Vegas

Now, though, he could be looking at a potentially huge fight against one of the legends of the sport in the shape of eight-weight champion Pacquiao.

Manny Pacquiao is in talks to fight Conor Benn, Eddie Hearn confirmed to Mail Sport

Manny Pacquiao is in talks to fight Conor Benn, Eddie Hearn confirmed to Mail Sport

Hearn claimed that Pacquiao could even be a slight favourite to beat his fighter

Benn has been fighting a doping case for almost two years after the banned substance clomifene was found in his system

Hearn claimed that Pacquiao could even be a slight favourite to beat his fighter despite the age gap

Both Benn and Pacquiao were in attendance in Saudi Arabia, and were filmed squaring up to one another, before shaking hands and parting ways, and Hearn confirmed that discussions were ongoing between the two parties over a huge bout.

‘We’re in talks,’ Hearn told Mail Sport in Saudi Arabia. ‘We’re close to that fight, but we’ll see. It’s a fight we’d love to bring to Wembley, Pacquiao’s first fight in the UK would be incredible. We’ll have to see how their schedule sits.

‘Manny Pacquiao is a legend, people talk about his inactivity. Yeah, of course, he’s not the fighter that he was, but he would beat every one of Connor Ben’s opponents so far in his career, and I think he’ll even be a 50-50 maybe even a slight favourite to beat Connor Benn.

‘I like the fight It it’s really come out of the blue. It wasn’t something we’re focusing on. But if it comes around, we’re up for it.

‘He wants the fight. Sean Gibbons, his his manager, who we know very, very well, sort of reached out to me and he asked about Connor Benn and about the fight. And you know, Connor Ben’s a young lion, the other guy’s a legend. Sometimes fights just come around like that, and, yeah, we’ll see.’

The news that a fight was in the works has not been overwhelmingly supported by boxing fans on social media, with some pointing to the fact that Pacquiao turned 45 at the end of last year. 

Some reports suggest that the fight was set to be formally announced at Thursday’s weigh-in event, only for a late change of plans to rule that out. 

Pacquiao has not set foot in the ring since suffering defeat by the hands of Yordenis Ugas back in 2021, and so there would surely be an element of ring-rust should any fight materialise. 

Both fighters were in attendance at the Knockout Chaos event weigh-in on Thursday evening

Both fighters were in attendance at the Knockout Chaos event weigh-in on Thursday evening

Hearn claimed that the 45-year-old would still represent a formidable opponent despite his age

Hearn claimed that the 45-year-old would still represent a formidable opponent despite his age

Pacquiao was asked about about his interest in the fight, replying: ‘Yes. I believe he can give a good fight. It’s been a while since I have fought a young fighter like him and I am excited for that.’

Hearn remained confident that Pacquiao would not be a pushover fight for Benn as he looks to rebuild his status in the sport. 

‘You know, I know Manny’s not the fighter he was, but he’s incredibly fast and he’s very skilful still, and he’s very, very smart, and Connor is really a young, quite inexperienced fighter,’ Hearn added.

‘But he’s someone that’s fresh, so you have to kind of put out your mind that you’re fighting this legend of the sport and just get the job done.’