By Barry Holbrook: Chris Eubank Jr says Conor Benn is in hiding and needs to “confess” and say he’s sorry he was arrested for PED.
Eubank Jr believes that even if Benn is found not guilty by the board, the public perception will continue to be that he cheated using PEDs.
According to Eubank Jr (32-2, 23 KOs), he discovered Benn’s positive test ten days before their scheduled fight on Oct. 8.
Initially, Eubank Jr thought Benn’s positive test for clomiphene, a banned drug, was a mistake. However, after the second positive test for the same substance came to light, Eubank Jr says he felt lied to by Benn.
Despite everything that happened, Eubank Jr says he still hopes to fight Benn in the future, and he thinks they will now have a story to tell.
In the meantime, Eubank Jr will fight next month against junior middleweight Liam Smith on January 21 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Eubank Jr vs. Smith is considered as big a mismatch as Eubank-Benn would have been.
Boxing fans want to see Eubank Jr take his career seriously, fighting the top 160-pounders rather than battling smaller fighters like Liam and Benn.
“I don’t know what’s going on. Conor is MIA [missing in action]Chris Eubank Jr told iFL TV when asked about Conor Benn’s status after he tested positive for PED.
“Conor is hiding, which says a lot. You don’t hide if you’re innocent. You keep hearing about him employing all these lawyers and scientists. Conor, it doesn’t matter. It is done.
“Even if you are not guilty, you are guilty. Do you own. It’s your only shot. It’s your only way out. If you keep doing this, ‘Trying to prove me wrong, I’m the victim, look at me, have mercy on me,’ no one will ever forgive you.
“They were trying to say he called me that morning, and he said, ‘Yeah, I talked to him in the morning,’ because everything was coming out in the morning, and that’s not true,” said Eubank Jr on Benn. .
“About ten days before, and when we spoke it was, ‘Well, it’s happened, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it.’ I said, ‘You better, for your own good.’ I said to him, ‘This is the worst thing that can happen to a fighter’s career. So for your sake, I hope you can figure this out because if not, that’s it,’ Eubank said. Jr when asked if he had spoken to Conor.
“He was kind of trying to say, ‘I don’t know how this happened. We’re going to get to the bottom of it,” Eubank Jr said of what Conor Benn told him. “I didn’t really know what to say, and then I found out about the failed second drug test, and I was like, ‘Wow, he lied.’
“I discovered it ten days before the fight. I had had a whole camp. I don’t care what anyone did in camera. I worked too hard. “You can’t beat me” is my mindset as a fighter. Is this wrong? Maybe it is.
“Most people probably would have done it once they found out, ‘That’s it, it’s done.’ I’m not that kind of guy. I don’t have that kind of spirit. It’s not up to the fighters to cancel fights. It’s up to the board, the promoters and the managers, the people who control the sport.
“It shouldn’t be left to the fighters because as fighters we just want to fight.
“I would like to believe it” Eubank Jr said of the excuse given for Benn’s two positive tests that it was a contamination issue. “When I first heard about it, in my head I was like, ‘Okay, there must be a mistake here. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.
“When you fail two, which is apparently what he did, it’s hard to believe anything that isn’t hands down, ‘I am sorry.’ Even if he is, even if there is a not guilty verdict, he is still guilty in the eyes of the people and the public.
“That asterisk, that stain is always next to his name, always or in his name. It doesn’t matter how much money you pay for your lawyers, your defense team and your scientists. You were caught cheating. That’s the opinion of the public, and that will never change.
“I think so, I hope so,” Eubank Jr said when asked if he thought he would fight Benn again in the future. “Now we have our own story. Now we have our own reasoning for wanting to fight. Now we have our own score to settle,” Eubank Jr said of Conor.