Benn vs. Eubank’s drug positive throws Hearn’s match into disarray.

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By Creative Media News

Eddie Hearn refused to accept the British Boxing Board of Control’s determination that the bout between Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr. scheduled for this Saturday in London should be “prohibited” on Wednesday, precipitating a fresh crisis in the boxing industry. Even though Benn, whom he supports, tested positive for clomifene according to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency, Hearn declared his willingness to contest the board’s decision in court.

Benn’s system had traces of the reproductive medication, which can drastically increase testosterone levels. Clomifene is prohibited by both the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.

Benn vs. Eubank's drug positive throws hearn's match into disarray.
Benn vs. Eubank's drug positive throws hearn's match into disarray.

The sport’s governing body stated on Wednesday afternoon, two hours after the Daily Mail broke the news of Benn’s positive test: “On the evening of 4 October 2022, the board of the British Boxing Board of Control Ltd determined that the fight between Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn, scheduled for 8 October 2022, is prohibited because it is not in the best interests of boxing. This information was relayed to the boxers and promoters involved on the morning of October 5, 2022.”

Hearn stunned those unfamiliar with the evident cynicism of boxing when, refusing to accept what appeared to be an unambiguous verdict, he stated that disputes over whether or not the bout should proceed are “going back and forth with the attorneys right now.”

The British Boxing Board of Control’s general secretary, Robert Smith, did not respond to a request for comment. The president of Vada, Margaret Goodman, stated, “Vada’s policy is to not comment on a fighter’s specific test findings.”

Give up fight
Benn vs. Eubank's drug positive throws hearn's match into disarray.

In a statement made by his promotional organization Matchroom earlier in the day, Hearn stated, “The B sample has not yet been examined, thus no rule infringement has been verified. Mr. Benn has not been charged with any rule infraction, he has not been suspended, and he is still eligible to compete.”

The promoter stated that all tests conducted by Ukad, the British anti-doping agency hired by the Board of Control, found Benn to be clean, and the boxer himself stated that he is a “clean athlete.” Benn stated, “I have done no breaches.”

As I have not been suspended, the fight continues as far as I am concerned. I’ve had a personal conversation with Chris Eubank, and we both want the fight to take place. We’ve both sought medical and legal counsel, and we want the fight to go on for the fans’ sake.

“I’ve signed up for every voluntary anti-doping test known to man… My Ukad test results have been negative throughout my entire career. I’ve never had any problems in the past. My team will determine why an initial adverse finding was discovered in my [Vada] test. We’ll investigate this thoroughly and see you on Saturday.”

The promoter of Eubank Jr., Kalle Sauerland, stated, “We sought medical advice. Although [Clomifene] can increase testosterone levels, the specialists we consulted did not perceive a benefit. Based on this, we immediately consulted with the most vital member of our team, the athlete. “[Eubank Jr.] was eager to proceed.”

Ross Tucker, a sports scientist, noted that research indicates clomifene can increase testosterone levels by as much as 146%.

Hearn stated that the first Vada test had been conducted “a couple of weeks ago,” but that the B sample had not yet been analyzed due to “a timing issue,” adding, “I cannot comment further at this time. However, this sample will ultimately be examined by a specialist.”

Hearn further stated that the British Boxing Board of Control “does not recognize Vada testing. Hearn cited an earlier instance in which British boxer Billy Joe Saunders was banned in Massachusetts because of a negative Vada test result, and stated that the British Board of Control had instead accepted a Ukad test that exonerated the fighter of any unlawful activity.

“Therefore, they must decide what they will do,” Hearn said of the board. “He is free to fight if they do not suspend him, which they have not done and cannot do.”

The hostility between the boxers’ dads, Chris Eubank Sr. and Nigel Benn, who engaged in two vicious and acrimonious bouts in the 1990s, is the source of Saturday night’s highly anticipated showdown at the O2.

However, Eubank Sr attempted to block his son from facing Benn Jr. due to grave worries that the 33-year-old would be unable to achieve the catchweight restriction of 157 pounds. Eubank Jr. has frequently competed at super-middleweight, where boxers weigh 168 pounds, and his father argued that the severe weight cut could induce dehydration, which is a leading cause of brain damage in boxers when they are hit in the head.

Eubank Jr. stated that he would still accept the bout, which is a concerning test for welterweight Benn. Benn is scheduled to fight Eubank Jr at a ten-pound-over-the-welterweight-limit weight. This week, Eubank Sr. urged the public to boycott the fight by refusing to view it live or on television.

Hearn stated that he hopes to sell as many as one million pay-per-views for the event. It looks ludicrous, yet it is consistent with boxing’s ambiguous jargon. While Hearn spent the entirety of Wednesday arguing that Benn should be permitted to fight, an old clip of the promoter leaked online.

Earlier in his career, Hearn stated, to his embarrassment, “What is the point of joining up for drug testing if, when you fail, everyone says, ‘Oh, don’t worry about it. Let him fight it out. The notion that Ukad is acceptable is completely irrelevant. You have agreed to undergo drug testing by Vada, the top testing organization in the sport, in my view.”

Those statements were forgotten in a desperate attempt to reverse the Board of Control’s decision to cancel the Saturday night fight. Hearn feels he will prevail in the court challenge to lift the prohibition on the bout, which is now a charade.

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