How exciting is it to think we could have a carbon copy of Nigel Benn entering the professional ranks on Saturday night? As Conor Benn prepares to make his pro debut under Matchroom’s banner on the undercard of Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua, his dad could be the proudest man in the world. When asked by BNTV about his son turning pro, the former super-middleweight world champion was visibly beaming with pride. He told us:
“I honestly didn’t know he was going to turn pro. It was only eight months ago when he was trying to have a go at the Olympics that we started to realise. He missed out on the Olympics, so we were already waiting for 2020. He would’ve had to have waited another four years for a crack at it, so I told him he needs to think about turning pro. Eddie Hearn came up with everything, and that was it.
“I think he can surpass me. He’s got it all, and I’m not just saying that – he’ll be far better than me. The strength, power, speed, will. He’s got all of that, as well as the determination that I’ve got. I believe he can do amazing things.”
Benn was also eager to acknowledge that he was looking forward to helping secure his son’s financial future through boxing, and is anxious to help steer him away from the financial issues suffered by many professionals further down the line after retirement. The Dark Destroyer invested his earnings into a substantial property portfolio, meaning he won’t ever need to worry about finances later in his life. He hopes Conor will do the same, in spite of it being ridiculously easy to become ill-advised as a professional boxer.
“A lot of the time, fighters don’t have good management or agents. It’s all about making money for everyone else and their agents. Either that or they’ll say: ‘Why don’t you invest your money in this?’. You know, these schemes that just go bust. Any fighters out there, get a portfolio of property for when you retire. You could end up with 20 or 30 properties and boom; that’s it. Sorted.
“My son could have been led astray quite easy. It’s easy to do. You get a whole load of money and suddenly think: ‘What should I do with it?’. They just decide to spend it all, and that’s what happens with a lot of sportsmen. It’s a serious problem, and it won’t happen with my son.”
Conor appears to have a bright future indeed, with talent, good promotional backing, and a well-educated father to take care of his finances. Now when you mention Benn, the name Eubank almost seems inevitable. Their two fights in the United Kingdom back in the 1990s were legendary, and Nigel Benn has been extremely vocal of late about a third bout between the two. Could it happen? Is there genuinely an offer on the table? It would appear so.
“We don’t know where Eubank’s at at the moment,” He said. “We’re just waiting to see if he’s going to get his finger out. There’s a contract there. It’s all there. Is he going to sign the contract? We don’t know really. It’s a big offer as well, make no mistake. Let’s hope he does!”
Two Benns fighting on one card – imagine that! We can always dream. Until then, however, you can catch Conor Benn’s professional debut as part of the Martin vs. Joshua card – live on Sky Sports Box Office from 6 pm on Saturday night. Not a bad stage on which to announce yourself.