Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn ‘postponed’ after lawyers run out of time to save legacy fight

Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn has officially been “’postponed” after the latter returned a positive drug test in the weeks leading up to the fight.

It was revealed on Wednesday afternoon that Benn had returned an adverse drug test with banned substance clomifene found in his system.

This is typically used to help women with fertility issues but it has also been found to boost testosterone when used by men.

Matchroom boxing and Wasserman Boxing released a joint statement at around 4pm on Thursday to confirm that the fight is off.

"After discussions with various parties, we have taken the decision to formally postpone the bout between Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn," the statement read.

"It is undeniable that the British Boxing Board of Control's decision to withdraw their sanctioning was procedurally flawed and without due process.

"That remains a legal issue between the promoters and the Board which we intend to pursue.

"However, whilst there are legal routes to facilitate the fight taking place as planned, we do not believe that it is in the fighters' interests for those to be pursued at such a late stage, or in the wider interests of the sport.

"As promoters, we take out obligations and duties very seriously, and a full investigation will now need to take place.

"We will be making no further comment at this time and news for ticket holder refunds will follow."

The result of the B sample is yet to emerge but following this revelation, the British Boxing Board of Control announced that they "prohibited" this fight from taking place this weekend.

Despite this, Eddie Hearn, Kalle Sauerland and the fighters continued to insist during the public workouts on Wednesday that they planned to proceed with the fight.

Benn's positive test came from a VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) test, and this organisation is not recognised by the BBBoC.

The BBBoC is instead overseen by UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) and Benn has not returned a positive test through their scheme.

This complicated the situation as the BBBoC were unable to suspend Benn as he had not broken any of their rules.

It is said that the fighter's lawyers looked for alternative solutions under the assumption that the BBBoC's stance would not change.

One option was to sanction the fight via a governing body from another country, but this was not something Hearn was willing to do.

"Let's see what today brings but to make one thing clear, I will not be promoting this fight with a foreign commission or alternative governing body on Saturday night," he stated via Twitter.

Matt Lawton of The Times has reported that lawyers were due at the High Court on Thursday afternoon to try to save the fight.

He later added that this meeting was cancelled as a "decision may not have come until late [on Friday]".

This was considered "too close to fight time" so the decision was taken to pull the fight.

The cancellation is the right call, but it has taken far too long to get to this resolution.

It would have been damaging had it gone ahead, with the integrity of boxing under serious risk.

Benn now has the chance to clear his name before he returns to the ring.

Eubank Jr meanwhile has been hard done to, working wonders to promote the fight and getting down to a weight he has not been at since he was a teenager.

You just hope that boxing learns a valuable lesson from this situation so the sport can reclaim some much-needed esteem.

READ MORE: Conor Benn positive drugs test shafts boxing fans again as the sport is becoming difficult to defend

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