Eubank Jr, 33, and Benn, 26, were scheduled to meet in a 157lbs catchweight bout on Saturday night, but it was revealed on Wednesday that the latter had returned a test result with traces of a fertility drug. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) then declared that it had ‘prohibited’ the main-event fight at London’s O2 Arena.
Despite promoters’ attempts to ensure that the bout went ahead as planned, per the fighters’ wishes, it was confirmed on Thursday that it had been postponed.
“Conor got caught using an illegal substance so the fight is off,” Eubank Jr tweeted shortly thereafter.
“Can’t believe it. I really apologise to the fans & everyone that bought tickets, traveled & booked hotels, this should not [have] happened.
“He has escaped his schooling… for now.”
Meanwhile, Benn reacted to the news by writing on Instagram: “I am truly gutted that we were unable to make this fight happen on Saturday and I’m sorry to everyone who has been affected by the postponement. I am still completely shocked and surprised by this and it has been a tough couple of days.
“My team and I will consider the next options including rescheduling the fight, but my immediate focus is on clearing my name because I am a clean athlete!”
When it was confirmed that Eubank Jr vs Benn would not go ahead as planned, promoters Matchroom and Wasserman said they would be ‘pursuing’ legal action after branding the BBBofC’s decision ‘procedurally flawed’.
Saturday’s main event was set to see Benn move up two weight classes, while Eubank Jr was due to cut three pounds more than usual.
The fight was scheduled to take place almost exactly 29 years to the day after the pair’s fathers, Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn, rounded out one of the most storied rivalries in British boxing history. Their rematch in 1993 ended as a draw, three years after Eubank had stopped Benn in the ninth round of the fighters’ first clash.