Chris Eubank Jnr vs Conor Benn fight: When is it and what time does it start?

Chris Eubank Jnr vs Conor Benn fight: When is it and what time does it start? - REUTERS
Chris Eubank Jnr vs Conor Benn fight: When is it and what time does it start? - REUTERS

Conor Benn insists he is a "clean athlete" and believes Saturday's fight with Chris Eubank Jnr will still go ahead.

It was revealed on Wednesday that an "adverse analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug" had shown up in one of Benn's recent tests by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) then said the scheduled bout at the O2 Arena was "prohibited" and "not in the interests of boxing", but Benn feels it can go ahead given he has passed all his tests with the UK Anti-Doping Agency (Ukad), which is in charge of doping control for the bout.

Benn told Matchroom's YouTube channel: "I have not committed any violation, I have not been suspended so as far as I am concerned the fight is still going ahead.

"I have spoken to Chris personally and we both want the fight to go ahead. We have both taken medical and legal advice and we want the fight to happen for the fans.

"I have signed up to every voluntary anti-doping testing there is under the sun. Throughout my whole career I am tested and my Ukad tests have come back negative so I have never had any issues before.

"Even in the lead-up to this fight, my [Ukad] tests have come up negative so my team will find out as to why there has been an initial adverse finding in my test, but as I said as far as I am concerned the fight is going ahead.

"I am a clean athlete and we will get to the bottom of this."

Benn and Eubank Jnr are due to fight at a catchweight contest, with the weight limit set at 157lb – forcing Eubank Jnr to come down to his lowest weight since he was a teenager.

Eubank Jr - Chris Eubank Jnr vs Conor Benn fight: When is it and what time does it start? - PA
Eubank Jr - Chris Eubank Jnr vs Conor Benn fight: When is it and what time does it start? - PA

The adverse finding in Benn's test has thrown the bout into chaos and the BBBC says it cannot be staged.

A statement from the BBBC read: "On the evening of October 4, 2022, the board of the British Boxing Board of Control Limited resolved that the contest between Chris Eubank Jnr and Conor Benn, scheduled to take place on October 8, is prohibited as it is not in the interests of boxing.

"That was communicated to the boxers and promoters involved on the morning of October 5."

Eubank Jnr said he remained optimistic that the fight could take place after being put through his paces during an open workout session.

He said on social media: "What he (Benn) has done is being investigated and things have to be right.

"I'm on weight. I did my job. It's unfortunate, it's a shame. I am starving right now, I'm dehydrated... I've sacrificed. So let's hope that this can be salvaged."

What is a catchweight fight?

The bout between Eubank and Benn is a catchweight clash, meaning that both men agreed to the weight limit, which will be at 157lb – a touch lighter than middleweight. Eubank Jnr has fought at middleweight and super-middleweight, while Benn usually boxes at welterweight.

Failure to make the contracted weight by either fighter at the weigh-in on Friday will result in a £100,000 fine for each pound recorded over the limit, but Eubank Jnr has made light of the challenge he faces by posting footage on social media of him eating a burger, fried chicken and cake.

Benn was unimpressed and has accused his opponent of lacking respect. "He said he's a man of his word and a disciplined athlete, but do I see him making the weight? No," Benn said.

Eubank Jnr has said he relishes the challenge of making the weight.

"It's going to be a tough, tough challenge to get down to this weight but it's worth it, it's absolutely worth it, to make a fight like this and be part of a one of a kind event," he said.

"We are being rewarded handsomely for this fight so the toughness and the hardships that's going to come with having to make a new weight that I have never been before, you know it's fair and I understand it and I've accepted it and I will do it."

When is it?

The fight is scheduled to take place on Saturday October 8. The ringwalks are expected at about 10.30pm UK time.

Where is it?

The O2 in London, the venue formally known as the Millennium Dome.

How can I watch Eubank Jnr vs Benn on TV

Dazn have the rights for this one, meaning the fight will be broadcast on the broadcaster's pay-per-view channel. It will costs £19.99 to watch the bout on Dazn UK.

How can I buy tickets?

Tickets went on sale on August 13. You can buy them either by visiting the O2 venue website or by going directly to the AXS site.

Who is fighting on the undercard?

The current undercard for Chris Eubank Jnr vs Conor Benn is as follows:

  • Mary Romero vs. Ellie Scotney; Women's Junior Featherweights

  • Galal Yafai vs. Gohan Rodriguez; Flyweight

  • Harlem Eubank vs. David Martin; Junior Welterweights

  • Lyndon Arthur vs. Cesar Hernan Reynoso; Light Heavyweights

  • Felix Cash vs. Connor Coyle; Middleweights

  • Matty Harris vs. Jiri Surmaj; Heavyweights

  • Shannon Courtenay vs. Gemma Ruegg; Women's Bantamweights

  • Chloe Watson vs. Nancy Franco; Women's Flyweights

  • George Liddard vs. Hrvoje Grcic; Middleweight

  • Katharina Thanderz vs. Maria Ruiz; Super-lightweight

*Undercard subject to change but correct as of October 5

What has Chris Eubank Jnr said?

Eubank Jnr, the son of Chris Eubank Snr, has won all but two of his 34 fights – 23 of them by knockout – and heads into the O2 bout after an impressive points victory over Liam Williams, in which he knocked the Welshman down four times.

Eubank, 33, has previously boxed at super-middleweight, but has moved to middleweight and will have to drop a further three pounds for the contest with Benn.

He said: "I grew up watching our parents' legendary battles and always wanting to emulate that, and find my own arch nemesis… could this now be Conor Benn? We will find out. He has walked the same path as I have. I know his struggle. Living in the shadow of a legend and trying to break out of that shadow and make his own name.

"If he can beat me, his name will be made, and he will never walk in his father’s shadow again. It’s a fight that’s going to spark the imagination of the British public, that’s what I’m happy about. In terms of anticipation, legacy and hype it’s the biggest fight of my career."

Chris Eubank Jnr is the favourite going into next weekend's bout - Chris Eubank Jnr vs Conor Benn: Date, time, tickets and undercard for catchweight fight - PA
Chris Eubank Jnr is the favourite going into next weekend's bout - Chris Eubank Jnr vs Conor Benn: Date, time, tickets and undercard for catchweight fight - PA

What has Conor Benn said?

Benn, the 26-year-old son of Nigel Benn, has won all 21 of his fights, 14 via knockout. He has fought at welterweight and his run of impressive victories has earned high world rankings in the 147lb division. Benn now steps up in as an underdog to challenge the son of his father's greatest rival.

"I feel powerful. I've been sparring super-middleweights, light heavies and cruisers. I feel strong. I love a challenge and I fear no man," Benn said.

"I've had to jump up two weights from welter, but this is the biggest and the best fight out there for me.

"I'm just so in my element and in my zone. There's no animosity with Eubank Jnr, but he's still a man who stands in my way.

"I haven't been beaten and that means the world to me. I don't know defeat. All of my knockouts have come in four rounds, so I wouldn't be surprised if that happens, but I always prepare for a hard fight."

Conor Benn - Chris Eubank Jnr vs Conor Benn: Date, time, tickets and undercard for catchweight fight - Getty Images
Conor Benn - Chris Eubank Jnr vs Conor Benn: Date, time, tickets and undercard for catchweight fight - Getty Images

Benn embraces the aim of restoring family pride after his father Nigel was held to a controversial draw by Eubank Sr in their second meeting at Old Trafford in 1993.

Benn said: "This fight is for the legacy and was an opportunity I felt I couldn't pass up. My team and I had other options
on the table as I'm currently ranked top five with all governing bodies at welterweight and no doubt I'm looking for a world championship fight very soon, but this fight is embedded with so much history and I know it's one the public really want to see.

"To me this fight is personal – it's more than titles and rankings, this is unfinished business between our families.

"Born Rivals is the perfect calling for this fight, because we have always been associated and I've always been asked if we'd ever fight, and now I can't wait for the world to be able to watch us make that happen.

"All I know is that from my side, this will be an all-out war, last-man-standing kind of fight. Neither will give up until the last bell rings. I won't be looking to take this to the score cards though, this will be explosive from the off. I'm so up for this."