Sports

Top welterweight prospect Conor Benn set to make an impact in 2022

Top welterweight prospect Conor Benn set to make an impact in 2022

Development is essential for young combatants, especially as their profession continues to develop. Sometimes small steps need to be taken to show how far they’ve come from where they started.

Conor Benn believes he’s ready for the spotlight, and the opportunities may present themselves sooner than he thinks.

Welterweight is one of the strongest divisions in boxing, with champions like Yordenis Ugas, Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford, and young prospects rising through the ranks. Benn, the 20-0 WBA Continental welterweight champion, believes he’s ready to take on these elite fighters.

“I don’t think I need a few more fights, if they offered me Ugas then I would take that fight”, Benn told ESPN. “I know what I’m capable of and what I’ve done in the ring proves it. You have to remember that it’s not just that I beat these opponents that I have, but the ease and the way I beat these opponents. “

“When you make the comparisons to the world champions that they’ve fought before me and I handle better with them than them, then you can use that as a benchmark. I imagine my chances against one of them. them. I’ve defended my title six times now and was in the top five before the Algieri fight, so I should soon be in the top three with the majority of the governing body. “

Son of former champion Nigel Benn, Conor, 25, made his professional debut in 2016. Known for his explosive power, 13 of his 20 victories have been won by knockout. The competition Benn faced gained in quality over time: Sebastian Formella, Samuel Vargas and Adrian Granados. In his last fight last December, Benn demolished Chris Algieri with a fourth round knockout.

When it comes to prospect status, Benn faces stiff competition outside of the Champions. There’s Jaron “Boots” Ennis, ranked high in the welterweight division by BoxRec and The Ring. He is 28-0 with a no-contest under his belt and has 26 KO wins.

There’s also the KO King Vergil Ortiz Jr., the WBO international welterweight champion. His last two fights have been against former champions and contenders; Maurice Hooker and Egidijus Kavaliauskas. The latter faced Crawford for the WBO title in 2019. Ortiz’s 18 wins came by knockout.

There are a lot of options for Benn, and Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn has some ideas of who he might face. This includes Hooker and other former champions, like Adrien Broner. The controversial former WBC light and welterweight champion “retired” in 2019 after losing to Manny Pacquiao, but returned in February 2021 and beat Jovanie Santiago.

MORE: Mayweather’s Style Emulation Created Problems Adrien Broner Couldn’t Solve

“Broner would love a forward fight because he’s on a new serious crusade where he wants to have one last run,” Hearn said. “He says he’s ready for Conor Benn, but wants to fight in March if possible. Otherwise two names we love are Robert Guerrero and Maurice Hooker at O2 [in London]. It will probably be one of those three names.

Guerrero last fought in August, beating Victor Ortiz by unanimous decision. He is a former IBF featherweight and interim WBC welterweight champion. Confronting a veteran, regardless of their current status, can help shape a fighter, which both Hearn and Benn believe can come from these clashes.

Benn believes his boxing IQ has improved, and while injuries have been a problem in the past, the prospect thinks now is the time to show what he can do regardless of the opponent.

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