By Vince Dwriter: Back in 1990, two highly skilled boxers sparked a heated rivalry as WBO middleweight champion Nigel Benn defended his title against the undefeated challenger Chris Eubank. On this particular night, the challenger would remain undefeated as he won the title in the ninth round by way of TKO.
Three years later, the stakes for the rematch were raised as both Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank entered the ring as a champion. Benn was the WBC super middleweight champion, and Eubank was the owner of the WBO strap, but unfortunately, a unified champion wasn’t crowned due to the matchup ending in a split decision draw.
Twenty-nine years later, the stars aligned as fight fans were set to witness a new version of Benn vs. Eubank when the sons agreed to meet in an October 8 clash at the O2 Arena in a match that was billed as ‘Born Rivals.’ The highly anticipated bout between Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr. was sold out, and it was expected to generate big pay-per-view numbers, but an unexpected event changed everything.
Days before the scheduled showdown, the UK publication Daily Mail’ published a story that Conor Benn tested positive for the banned substance clomiphene. The British Boxing Board of Control responded by declaring Conor Benn’s scheduled fight with Chris Eubank Jr to be prohibited and not in the interest of boxing. Shortly after the ruling, the fight was postponed.
Conor Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) passed the doping test conducted by UK Anti-Doping, but he failed the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) test due to a positive result for clomiphene. The drug that Benn tested positive for is a fertility drug used to induce ovulation in women who wish to become pregnant. The drug is not approved by the FDA for male consumption, but it’s often prescribed off-label for the treatment of male infertility. In addition to aiding male infertility, clomiphene is also used to increase a male’s testosterone level.
Conor Benn says he’s a clean athlete, but it’s difficult to accept his statement due to the fact that it is extremely hard to explain why he tested positive for a substance that’s classified as a female fertility drug. Normally when an athlete pops up dirty, they will use the excuse of unknowingly ingesting something, but in Benn’s case, the question would be how is it possible for him to be unaware of taking a female fertility drug?
Chris Algieri, a former opponent of Conor Benn admitted that the news of Benn’s failed test didn’t surprise him because prior to his December 2021 clash with the welterweight contender, he heard rumors that Benn wasn’t a clean fighter. Despite the rumors, Algieri decided to go on with the fight because he believed he had the ability to beat a fighter that was cheating.
Another former Benn opponent Chris Van Heerden didn’t think Benn was the type of guy that would cheat, but now that the failed drug test has been made public, Van Heerden questions his defeat to Benn. In his match against Chris Algieri, Benn knocked him out in the fourth round, and he got a TKO victory against Chris Van Heerden after only one round of work.
In the court of public opinion, Conor Benn is considered guilty until proven innocent due to the type of drug that was discovered in his system. Clomiphene is a fertility drug for women, but it’s also a substance that can be used as a masking agent. Athletes use masking agents to avoid the detection of anabolic steroids.
Even though the court of public opinion is giving Conor Benn a guilty verdict, Benn still has to go through a process with the UKAD investigation in which he faces a possible four-year ban from boxing. The perception of Conor Benn being guilty intensified when a past comment a doctor who works with Benn made was reintroduced to the public.
Approximately one year ago, Dr. Usman Sajjad appeared on the ‘Quality Shot Podcast,’ and he talked about how easy it would be for an athlete to use PEDs and avoid detection. Since his comments were republished, Dr. Sajjad has deleted his website and all of his social media accounts. In his most recent fights, Conor Benn displayed a new brand of speed, power, and endurance. He was showing an extreme amount of confidence in his ability as he was willing to move up two weight classes to fight Chris Eubank Jr.
As previously stated, the court of public opinion is accusing 26-year-old Benn of being guilty of using PEDs, and either Benn or someone who represents his team needs to publicly clarify why we should believe he’s innocent. When it comes to Benn’s situation, the evidence of him being guilty is starting to pile up, and the million-dollar question is, how can Conor Benn prove that he’s innocent?