- There is a contingency plan in case Conor Benn is not allowed to fight in UK
- Eddie Hearn has agreed deal for him to fight Chris Eubank Jr in Middle East
- Hearn’s preference is to stage the bout at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium
Mail Sport understands some clarity on Benn’s immediate future is expected next week, when a meeting will determine which arbitration body will hear the appeal raised by the British Boxing Board of Control and UK Anti-Doping against the decision made by the National Anti-Doping Panel in July to lift his suspension.
Hearn has publicly stated his preference to stage Benn’s fight with Eubank Jr at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, but with December 23 less than 11 weeks away, he has agreed terms on an alternative to cater for the possibility that the Board oppose a bout in Britain.
Benn, who held a low-key comeback in Orlando last month after a 17-month absence because of two failed drugs tests, gave up his British licence at the height of the saga.
There is hope Conor Benn (right) vs Chris Eubank Jnr (left) will happen this year
It is likely the Eubank Jr fight will be contested in Abu Dhabi if Hearn’s hopes for Cardiff are overruled. A second option in the Middle East has also been discussed.
In either scenario, it appears probable that Benn’s much-hyped encounter with Eubank Jr will take place before the outcome of the Board and UKAD appeal is known.
Sources have indicated to Mail Sport that it could be December or January before such an appeal is heard, let alone resolved.
Benn, who maintains he did not deliberately dope, has previously pointed to NADP ruling in July as a ‘vindication’ of his innocence, though sources have told Mail Sport that the hearing did not focus on the key question of how a banned substance, clomifene, entered his system.
Part of the argument deployed by Benn’s legal team is believed to have nosed on the right of UKAD to rule on samples collected by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.
Promoter Eddie Hearn wants it to be in Cardiff, despite Benn not having a licence to fight in UK