There are rumblings from boxing promoter Eddie Hearn that his controversial client, welterweight Conor Benn is set to fight Filipino boxing legend and former Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao in Abu Dhabi on June 3.
Hearn said that they are weighing all options right now and has stated publicly that the former eight-division world champion wants the fight ‘badly’. If the deal versus Pacquiao goes south, Hearn suggested that Benn will fight either Chris Eubank Jr. or Kell Brook.
Conor Benn was recently reinstated into the welterweight rankings by the World Boxing Council last month. He previously was banned from any matches due to testing positive twice for his use of performance-enhancing substances. Right now, Benn doesn’t have a license to fight on British soil because he gave it up to the British Boxing Board of Control amid his failed tests.
The boxer and the organization’s relationship has completely soured over the last couple of years with Benn refusing to cooperate with their investigation. There are threats from both sides to file legal action on the controversy.
With Manny Pacquiao’s humiliating loss in the Philippine presidential elections last year, there is extra motivation for him to pursue this fight as he isn’t currently holding any government post in his country. Even at 44, he has continued to work out and has stayed in incredible shape. But questions about his ability to perform again on the main stage will hound him especially after losing to the less-heralded Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas in August 2021.
With sports like MMA slowly taking hold of boxing’s ratings, any boxing event that carries controversies like the possible clash of Benn vs Pacquiao will be welcomed by fans of the sport.