By Allan Fox: Highly ranked welterweight contender Conor Benn says he wants Danny Garcia or Mikey Garcia if his promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t schedule a fight against Adrien Broner for March or April.
Hearn is very excited about Conor Benn’s potential in his early professional career. The son of famous former world champion Nigel Benn, Conor has heavy hands like his dad, but not the hand speed, size, power, or the inside game.
Conor isn’t nearly the same type of talent as Nigel was, but it doesn’t matter. With the right match-making being done for him by Hearn, he looks like a good knock-off version.
Still, Conor can punch, and he’s got loads of potential, as long as he keeps developing. At this point, Benn is a diamond in the rough and needs a lot of time to improve before we find out if he’s going to be a superstar in the true sense.
Benn = the replacement for Anthony Joshua
Hearn is already calling Benn a star, but he means in terms of the money he’s bringing in. Benn is like an oil well that Hearn stumbled across, and it’s faithfully pumping out cash in the way that Anthony Joshua did early in his career.
With Joshua’s career now on the brink of going under, Hearn desperately needs a replacement for him, and he might have found his man in Conor Benn.
As of now, Benn (20-0, 10 KOs) is leaving it up to Hearn to set up the fight with the former four-division world champion Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs), and he’s hopeful that fight gets made.
With Broner, 32, he may price himself out of the fight, especially if he feels that Hearn needs him as Benn’s step-up opponent. Benn wants Danny Garcia or Mikey if a match can’t be put together with the faded Broner.
Danny Garcia the better option for Benn
The hard-hitting Danny (36-3, 21 KOs) has shown more ability at 147 than Mikey, so that would be the better choice for Benn if he cares about what the boxing public would say about the fight.
Picking the 33-year-old Mikey right now would be a mistake because he’s coming off a loss to Sandor Martin, and he looked equally poor in his two previous fights at 147 against Jessie Vargas and Errol Spence Jr.
Mikey has shown himself to be totally unequipped to fight at 147, and it appears to some that he’s only focused on paydays at this point in his career.
Benn doesn’t need that type of opponent. He needs a quality fighter like Danny Garcia that tests him and shows the fans that he’s genuine and not a product of phony hype that many think he is.
For the 25-year-old Benn to be taken seriously by boxing fans, he’s got to shake his image of him exclusively facing old guys that are semi-retired. Benn’s last opponent was boxing commentator Chris Algieri, who is no longer a relevant fighter at 38, and already out the door in the sport.
Hearn thought it was a great idea to match Benn against Algieri, but it came across to knowledgable fans as a used car salesman move by the British promote.
Hearn’s slick moves related to the match-making he’s done for Benn have become evident to the boxing, who can see through the smokescreen and his snake-oil salesman talk.
Benn says Danny Garcia & Mikey his Plan-B
“Most definitely at the O2 Arena, Benn-Broner,” said Conor Benn to iFL TV when asked to confirm whether he’ll be fighting Adrien Broner in March or April.
“If not [Broner], Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia, I would love those fights. Great champions, I respect them both. I like both of those fights,” said Benn.
“But listen, it doesn’t matter what I want. I’ll leave it to my team to sort something out. I like the [Yordenis] Ugas fight. Obviously, Ugas is fighting his mandatory [Eimantas Stanionis]. Hopefully, he comes through. I’d love to get a shot at that title,” said Benn.
It’s questionable whether Benn’s chin can take the big left hooks that Danny Garcia is known for, which is why it’s challenging to imagine Hearn putting in a real effort to get him as his Plan-B option if he can’t get Broner to agree.
If Hearn wants to get Broner to sign, he’s going to need to pay him a lot, and it might not be worth it. The credibility that Hearn thinks Benn will gain from beating the shell of Broner won’t be worth it.
The boxing fans familiar with Broner understand that he’s past it and haven’t shown motivation for the sport since 2012. What’s left of Broner is a physical wreck, a guy that looks a lot older than his chronological age of 32.
Conor is ready to fight for a world title now
“I’d go world title next,” said Benn when told that Eddie Hearn feels he needs two more learning fights before he’ll be ready to challenge for a world title.
“Eddie’s not in the gym with me and Tony [Sims] seeing what I do on a daily basis,” said Benn. “The ONLY reason I’m talking Broner in March or April is I don’t want to wait around because obviously, he’s [Ugas] defending his world title.
“You’ve got March, which is open for a fight date for myself,” said Benn. “I’m ranked high in all the governing bodies. We’re talking about the likes of Jaron Ennis and Rashidi Ellis.
“They are world title fights. David Avanesyan, they’re world title fights. I’ll fight them all for a world title, Vergil Ortiz, world title fights. Avanesyan has been made mandatory to fight Vergil Ortiz. Whether he takes that, I don’t know. We’ll just wait and see,” said Benn.
Hearn isn’t going to let Benn challenge for a world title against WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas because that would be a move of pure incompetence if he tossed him in there with the talented Cuban.
The 35-year-old Cuban Ugas might be the weakest link among the champions at 147, but he’s far more technically sound than Benn.
It would be pretty easy for Ugas and his coach to dissect Benn’s fighting style, find his weakness, and develop a simple game plan to defeat him.