“They Changed Those Rules”: Eddie Hearn Slams BBBofC for Sanctioning Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou

Published 10/22/2023, 9:43 AM EDT

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Conor Benn, who surrendered his boxing license to the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) last year, still cannot fight in the United Kingdom. Last month, he fought his return fight overseas on the Richardson Hitchins versus Jose Zepeda main card. Throughout the tribulation, his promoter, Eddie Hearn, stood by his side like a rock. The Matchroom boss’ frustration with getting a Conor Benn fight in the UK became apparent during an interview.

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It seems to have been exacerbated by the BBBofC reportedly blessing the upcoming crossover bout between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou. Nigel Benn‘s son failed drug tests. Otherwise, a bout with Chris Eubank Jr. would have made the headlines on October 8 last year. However, as it turned out, a year-long ordeal followed. It saw his fortunes seesawing. Gradually, it swung to a stage where the National Anti-Doping Panel revoked the provisional suspension of his boxing activities.

Explain the reason – Eddie Hearn asks boxing authorities

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iFL TV‘s Andrew McCart caught up with Hearn at the Liverpool Jack Catterall versus Jorge Linares main card event. The reporter asked for any developments regarding the boxing board’s stance on Conor Benn. The Matchroom boss replied, “You know if we, if we stage the fight in the UK or Kelle Sauerland stages the fight in the UK, obviously it’s up to the board if they sanction that fight...”

Then Hearn shared that they were proceeding with the talks for the Conor Benn-Chris Eubank Jr. fight and that they would love to hold it in the United Kingdom. Then he took the Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou example. He mentioned how the BBBofC sanctioned a match between the best Heavyweight boxer in the world and a fighter who has yet to see the face of a squared circle.

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An instance of different rules in different contexts?

Hearn said, “ the British title fight… it’s not within their rules to hold a British title fight outside of the UK. They changed those rules, but they also sanctioned the fight between the number one heavyweight in the world and a guy that’s never boxed before.

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Eddie Hearn finally added that he expects the governing body’s support since they have decided to proceed with the fight. After all, Conor Benn is no longer suspended. He won a dispute with the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and is eligible to compete in Great Britain.

Incidentally, soon after the National Anti-Doping Panel decided to free Benn from the suspension, the UKAD and BBBofC filed an appeal against it. Fans are keenly watching out for the verdict as the saga enters a new phase. Besides the Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua clash, there’s one more fight British boxing fans look up to—the generational match between Benn and Eubank Jr.

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What’s your take on Hearn’s argument for Conor Benn’s fight in the United Kingdom? Please share your thoughts and views with us in the comments below.

Watch This Story: Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou Stats: Record, Reach, Weight, Height, and Knockout Ratio

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan

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One take at a time

Jaideep Unnithan is a Boxing writer at EssentiallySports. With over 400 articles authored at ES, Jaideep has built a reputation for diving deep into stories and producing detailed reports. Jaideep's passion for the sport of boxing was ignited when his father shared his experience of watching Ali vs Frazier live in the US.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai

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