Conor Benn opponent ‘not surprised’ by adverse drug test result ahead of Chris Eubank Jr fight

One of Conor Benn’s most recent opponents has said he is ‘not surprised’ by the adverse drug test tesult that has thrown the Briton’s fight with Chris Eubank Jr into doubt.

Benn is set to box Eubank Jr in London on Saturday (8 October), nearly 30 years after the Britons’ fathers clashed in the ring for the second and final time. But it was revealed on Wednesday (5 October) that Benn had returned a drug test result with traces of a fetility drugnamely the banned substance clomifene.

The British Boxing Board of Control then said it had ‘prohibited’ the 157lbs catchweight contest from taking place, though both fighters’ promoters are trying to ensure the bout goes ahead per the wishes of Benn and Eubank Jr.

Benn last fought in April, knocking out Chris van Heerden in Round 2, while his previous fight saw the 26-year-old stop Chris Algieri in the fourth round in December.

“Initial thought: Not surprised, not surprised one bit,” Algieri said on Inside Boxing Live, addressing Benn’s adverse drug test result.

“I had heard, around the time that I was fighting him, that he was not a clean fighter. And I like to give fighters the benefit of the doubt; this is about competition, I never want to take away from anyone who steps in that squared circle – it’s the most dangerous thing you could ever do.

“I respect every fighter who steps in the ring, [but] I do not respect cheaters, and for me to hear this... this hits hard. It hits hard, it hits home, and again: Not surprised, not surprised.

“There are certain tells, there are certain things. Many, many times I’ve fought world-class guys, and hearing this wasn’t anything that shocked me. It shocked me because he got caught, it didn’t shock me because it’s a reality.”

Chris Eubank Jr (left) and Conor Benn are scheduled to fight at the O2 Arena on Saturday (Steven Paston/PA) (PA Wire)
Chris Eubank Jr (left) and Conor Benn are scheduled to fight at the O2 Arena on Saturday (Steven Paston/PA) (PA Wire)

American Algieri has not fought since his brutal knockout loss to Benn in Liverpool. The 38-year-old has insisted that he will compete again, however, due to the bitter taste that this week’s news has left in his mouth.

“It makes me feel like I can’t stop now,” he said. “I can’t go out against a cheater. I don’t know, there’s a lot of emotions today, and you guys are getting a very raw perspective from me right now. It burns.”

Comparing drug testing in the UK and US, Algieri added: “I’ve fought over in the UK, it wasn’t like fighting over here in America.

“I didn’t see inspectors over my shoulder like they are in New York. When I fight in New York City, I’ve got guys over my back who want to make sure when I go to the bathroom they’re coming with me. I didn’t see that over there. There was very little testing.”