Conor Benn is apparently the most wanted fighter in America, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.
To that end, the Matchroom Boxing head wants to pair the controversial Benn with another big name, namely Gervonta Davis, the Baltimore puncher who is arguably the biggest American-born boxing star in the sport.
Shortly after Benn defeated Pete Dobson in Las Vegas last weekend, numerous fighters lambasted Benn for failing to knock out his unheralded opponent. Benn was on a string of high-profile knockouts before he tested positive twice for the banned performance-enhancing drug clomifene in late 2022. Benn has continually maintained his innocence but has been unable to clear his name with the regulatory bodies in his native England. As a result, his last two fights have taken place in the United States.
Benn and Davis were involved in a minor skirmish online, with an indication made that their handlers would explore a potential deal.
Hearn confirmed he would present one to Davis in an interview on Wednesday.
“We’re thinking America for that,” Hearn said of a potential Davis vs. Benn fight in a video uploaded on the Matchroom Boxing YouTube page. “You’ve got two fiery characters. Gervonta is an outstanding fighter. Super featherweight, really, coming up to lightweight and boxed at 140 but has never boxed at 147. That’s a really rough fight for Conor Benn. Gervonta is a pound for pound great. But I like the size advantage in that fight. It would be the first time as I said for a couple of fights that he would be fighting someone smaller than him. But he can really crack.”
“He’s an outstanding fighter. It’s a big ask for Conor. But this is what he wants, those kinds of tests. I think Gervonta Davis against Conor Benn is a fight that can really light up America and the UK. He will be getting an offer today. He’ll probably publicize that offer, as he does on Instagram.
“And we want to try and make that fight. Conor is bang up for that fight, bang up for [former welterweight champion] Errol Spence. Honestly Conor Benn will fight anyone. But it’s our job to make sure the reward is there. A fight like that against an American superstar would be a massive fight for him.”
Hearn now believes the floodgates have opened for Benn in the US and suggested that there may not be so much pressure to bring Benn back to the UK. However, many of the top names that Benn has mentioned, including Davis and Mario Barrios, are aligned with Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions, which will begin its new content deal with Amazon Prime Video on March 30 with a main event featuring Keith Thurman against Tim Tszyu.
“Truly the whole world is calling out Conor Benn,” Hearn said. “It’s not going to be difficult to land him that big fight now. It has opened up stateside now. Previously we talked about big fights in the UK. With all of those names that are calling him out I think there’s a very good chance his next fight will be in America.”
“April, May, something like that,” Hearn said of Benn’s next fight. “I think Gervonta has been looking for a date for a while now. Conor Benn, fresh, ready to go after those 12 rounds. Let’s make it happen.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.