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Eddie Hearn Reveals BBBofC Did Not Contact Them About Refusal To Sanction Bout, Benn To Pursue Robert Smith Legally After Alleged Deceit During Interviews

Eddie Hearn Reveals BBBofC Did Not Contact Them About Refusal To Sanction Bout featured image
Eddie Hearn during a press conference at the Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel London after Matchroom announced that the fight between Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday at The O2, has been postponed. Picture date: Thursday October 6, 2022. (Photo by Simon Marper/PA Images via Getty Images)

The BBBofC and its General Secretary, Robert Smith, have much work to do regarding transparency. As highlighted in our previous article on this subject, the BBBofC’s lack of transparency appears to breed suspicion. Matchroom chairman has echoed this sentiment after revealing that he and Matchroom fighter Conor Benn were not contacted about the BBBofC’s refusal to sanction the proposed bout between Benn and Chris Eubank Jr.

When the British Boxing Board of Control’s (BBBofC) Robert Smith spread the news that they would not be sanctioning Conor Benn to fight Chris Eubank Jr., refusing an application from his team to fight in the UK, we sought to understand his intentions for releasing this information. Given their appeal against Conor Benn, it was unlikely to be sanctioned by them in the first place.

The BBBofC’s decision to release this news through other media outlets rather than their own channels was also scrutinized for unprofessionalism, lackadaisicalness, or potential underhandedness, considering it is the main governing body for professional boxing in the UK and can release these developments through their media outlet.

As it turns out, the BBBofC does appear to be moving rather unscrupulously, as Eddie Hearn revealed in a recent interview with Boxing Social.

[I’m] very disappointed to see Robert Smith come on Talk Sport and give his explanation without actually speaking to us, again choosing to go to the media,” said Hearn.

His comments were actually completely inaccurate and that will be dealt with today by Conor [Benn] and his legal team. There will be further news on that.

As Hearn stated, apparently Robert Smith clarified the BBBofC’s decision [though it seemed to be already known to Benn and his team prior] on Talk Sport without prior informing Hearn or Benn about the exact reasons for refusing the application for Benn to fight in the UK.

As explained before, this lack of transparency can cause more confusion and suspicion, resulting in Benn taking legal action as he and his team had not been thoroughly informed about the BBBofC’s decision.

Regarding the Benn-Eubank Jr. fight occurring in the UK, Hearn still seemed adamant that the fight could commence in the country, with or without the approval or sanctioning of the BBBofC.

All of our focus is on February 3rd, at Spurs, Eubank against Benn. When, or if, we get it signed, then we will deal with the situation,” said Hearn, suggesting the fight may be hosted at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

During his interview with Talk Sport, Robert Smith also remarked that Conor Benn had not gone through the “proper authorities,” leading to the refusal for the application to sanction his fight with Eubank Jr. However, Hearn was quick to object to this notion.

We believe Conor Benn is cleared to fight legally. To say that he hasn’t gone through the applicable channels [proper authorities], that is absolute rubbish. He’s [Conor Benn] gone through his hearing with the WBC, which is the body that controlled the testing, he got completely cleared of any wrongdoing and [got] reinstated in the rankings.

Then he [Benn] chose to go through the UKAD ruling as well because he felt like it was the thing to do, and got his suspension lifted and won the case. So that will be dealt with today, and you’ll have further news on that, and when we make the fight, we will decide what we’re going to do, but we have to make it.

Similar to Smith being accused of being disingenuous, Hearn also showed some of the same traits by neglecting to mention the WBC’s own lack of credibility overall and the controversial decision they made by clearing Benn of intentional drug use because of the consumption of eggs, an explanation that was first questioned by Hearn himself before he and Benn opted to agree with the WBC’s own explanation.

There is also some misdirection on Hearn’s part when it comes to the case that Benn was, at that same case where he was cleared by the NADP, is currently still being appealed by the BBBofC and UKAD itself.

Hearn’s statements indicate that the fight has not been conclusively confirmed, although it is on the verge of commencing. Strikingly, Benn’s application to fight Eubank Jr. in the UK through the BBBofC has not been publicly disclosed by either the governing body or Benn’s team. In the case of the former, this omission accentuates their perceived lack of transparency, which is not proving advantageous and is resulting in heightened scrutiny of Robert Smith’s choice to disclose additional details to Talk Sport. Presently, an apparent legal case is pending, initiated by Benn.