Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn is off after last-minute talks between BBBofC and the organisers fell through earlier today. Promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed the postponement of the fight via an official statement on social media.
Taking to Twitter on Thursday afternoon, Hearn said: “After discussions with various parties, we have taken the decision to formally postpone the bout between Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn.
“It is undeniable that the British Boxing Board of Control’s decision to withdraw their sanctioning was proceedurally flawed and without due process. That remains a legal issue between promoters and the Board which we intend to pursue.
“However while there are legal routes to facilitate the fight taking place as planned, we do not believe that it is in the fighters’ interests for those to be pursued at such a late stage, or in the wider interests of the sport.
“As promoters we take our obligations and duties very seriously, and a full investigation will now need to take place. We will be making no further comment at this time and news for ticket holder refunds will follow.”
Promotional outfits, Wasserman and Matchroom Boxing have both reportedly decided against going to High Court over fears of how long a decision could take. The latest developments come after, Benn returned adverse analytical findings for the banned substance, clomifene in a drugs test carried out by VADA.
On Wednesday, the British Boxing Board of Control — who was set to sanction the fight — ‘prohibited’ the bout leading to a negotiation process between the organisers and the sanctioning body to take place in order to resolve the issue. But the BBBofC appear to be standing firm on their decision meaning the fight has been cancelled.
There were initial murmurs about the potential of the fight taking place under the auspices of an alternative body, however, Eddie Hearn had already come out to deny this option.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Let’s see what today brings but to make one thing clear, I will not be promoting this fight with a foreign commission or alternative governing body on Saturday night.”
Benn returned a clean test to UKAD — the anti-doping partner of the BBBofC — but trace amounts of the fertility drug were found in his sample A specimen delivered to VADA.
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Speaking on Wednesday, Benn said: “I’ve not committed any violations. I’ve not been suspended so as far as I’m concerned the fight is still going ahead. I’ve spoken to Chris [Eubank] personally and we both want the fight to go ahead.
“We both have taken medical and legal advice and we want the fight to go ahead for the fans. I’ve signed up to every voluntary anti-doping testing there is under the sun … all my UKAD tests have come back negative throughout my whole career.
“I’ve never had any issues before. My team will find out why there has been an initial adverse finding in my [Vada] test. We’ll get to the bottom of this and we’ll see you on Saturday.”