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Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn in doubt as BBBoC chief ‘refuses’ to sanction huge bout in the UK

The General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, Robert Smith, has confirmed they are “refusing” to sanction Conor Benn vs Chris Eubank Jr.

Benn and Eubank Jr were initially due to face off at the O2 Arena in October 2022. However, the bout was ultimately cancelled after Benn returned two positive drug tests for banned substance clomiphene.

Over the past year, Benn has been working tirelessly to clear his name and he recently had his temporary suspension lifted by the National Anti-Doping panel.

This enabled Benn to make his return to the ring on September 23 as he beat Mexican Rodolfo Orozco over the distance on a card in Orlando.

Benn’s team have since restarted talks with Eubank Jr’s representatives and it’s been hoped that they will headline at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 3.

The BBBoC are expected to appeal the National Anti-Doping panel’s verdict. This is yet to be processed but Smith has confirmed that they have rejected an “application” from Benn to fight in the UK ahead of his proposed bout with Eubank Jr.

"The Board feel that any athlete, not just a boxer, but any athlete who has failed a drugs test needs to go through an investigation with the proper authorities and that hasn't happened,” Smith told talkSPORT.

"We're waiting for that to happen and the Boxing Board and UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) have been pushing for that to happen right from the beginning of this and unfortunately it's been delayed, not through the Boxing Board of Control or UKAD, but through other parties.

"With regard to Mr Benn boxing in this country, we have had an application for him to box in this country, that has been refused."

Smith continued: "They can put out what they want ultimately, but they haven't been through the proper authorities and as I said before we're really keen to get this done right from the beginning."

With sanctioning from the BBBoC seemingly off the table, Benn vs Eubank Jr can only take place in the UK if it is governed by a body from abroad. Alternatively, the bout could take place elsewhere, with Abu Dhabi previously being mentioned as a potential site.

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