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BBBofC Won’t Sanction Eubank Jr.-Benn… As Expected

BBBofC Won't Sanction Eubank Jr.-Benn... As Expected featured image
BBBofC steward Robert W. Smith at the AO Arena, Manchester. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2022. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

The BBBofC has made a rather unsurprising decision not to sanction the proposed 2024 bout between Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn, as the latter is still undergoing an appeal by the governing body and UKAD. As always, the BBBofC neglected to be fully transparent on this matter by not utilizing their own official channels and releasing this news through media outlets where they were able to control the narrative.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC)’s appeal against Conor Benn, together with UKAD, already suggested they would not sanction the fight to begin with, as they and Conor Benn have fallen out in public. However, despite governing all sanctioning fights in the UK and their recent decision not to sanction the fight, there seems to be some propagandizing going on by the BBBofC.

To clarify, the BBBofC seems to want to dupe the public into believing they have control over this match when that is simply not the case. By reaching out through various media outlets where the governing body’s General Secretary, Robert Smith, acted as the spokesperson, the wider implications of their decision have been ignored; mainly the fact that they cannot stop the bout from occurring in the UK.

Robert Smith’s appearance in the media was planned and controlled, meant to paint an image of a governing body that was fully in control yet, as is known now, the BBBofC cannot actually prevent the fight from occurring. While the boxing laws in each country vary, Conor Benn’s ability to fight outside the UK means he is capable of fighting inside the UK without the bout being sanctioned by the BBBofC, as Sky Sports revealed, claiming that boxing fights unlicensed by the BBBofC could still occur in the UK.

Keeping in mind that Smith is probably aware of this, his media appearances did not suggest anything to prevent the fight from actually occurring, indicating that the BBBofC was seeking to assert their authority by releasing this information. When putting things into perspective, it was already known that the governing body and UKAD were appealing the NAPD’s decision to lift the provisional suspension on Conor Benn, allowing him to fight. Thus, it is only rational to conclude that the BBBofC would not sanction any bout in the UK with Conor Benn until the appeal had concluded.

The fact that Robert Smith chose to put this information out, when not only do they tend to fall quiet on certain matters such as drug cases, but they also refuse to actually use their official channels to update the public on anything other than award ceremonies and such, leads to speculation that the BBBofC is simply seeking to convince/remind the public of them being a legitimate authority.

While there is no indication that the rumored fight on February 3rd between Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr. has fallen through, the latter has expressed the need for Benn to be cleared in full, which includes the UKAD and the BBBofC who currently have a pending appeal against him.

That fight doesn’t need to be rushed in any way, in my opinion. Conor Benn isn’t going anywhere. The timing has to be right and he does need to be fully acquitted of the situation he’s in. He can’t have any appeals going on with the Board,” Chris Eubank Jr. told Sky Sports earlier this year.

He has to be 100 per cent clear for that fight to go ahead. As far as I’m concerned at this moment in time he isn’t. So that’s why I can’t say when that fight will happen.

While Benn’s promoter, Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn, does seem to believe the fight will happen in the UK next year, as it stands, only Chris Eubank Jr. seems to stand in the way of the fight happening, as the BBBofC’s authority does not appear to be as well-rooted as they might claim. However, Eubank himself seems to be heavily entertaining a fight with Benn despite his own statements, as he has recently rejected an opportunity to fight for a world title in order to seek a fight with Conor Benn, as was revealed recently in an official letter to the WBO.