'Gutted' Josh Warrington feels Conor Benn 'should get a lifetime ban'

World featherweight champion Josh Warrington has called for Conor Benn to receive a lifetime ban in the wake of his failed drugs test due to the “barbaric” nature of boxing.

Benn's hotly-anticipated weekend bout with Chris Eubank Jr was postponed after the former tested positive for trace amounts of fertility drug clomiphene, which elevates testosterone levels.

The 26-year-old maintains he is a clean athlete and, on Wednesday, posted on Instagram: "I hope the apology is as loud as the disrespect".

Warrington knows all too well about the brutality of boxing having just recovered from the worst injury of his career - a broken jaw suffered in the process of regaining the IBF belt from Kiko Martinez in March.

The Leeds fighter, who is preparing to defend his title against the Mexican, Luis Alberto Lopez, in his hometown on December 10, knows Benn personally but believes there are no excuses for being caught with an illegal substance.

"You never like to hear about people cheating in sport, especially a sport like boxing where you go in there to hurt each other," said Warrington.

"People call it a science, we call it an art but it's also barbaric and I'm gutted because I like Conor.

"Obviously he's going to get to say his piece and try and clear his name but in black and white he's been caught with illegal substances in his body so, if you're guilty, you're guilty.

"I've spoken strongly against drug cheats in the sport for a long time. It's too f***ing hard a sport man, people die in the ring.

"Even something physical like rugby, if a player is on drugs and he clashes into a player and knocks a player out, the player is going to be knocked out (and be taken off).

"But when you're in the ring and you hit somebody, they might go down, they get up and you hit them again, and you hit them again, and you hit them again, it's barbaric, so it should be a lifetime ban.

"Obviously Conor is going to come out with his reasons but there should be no reason why he's got that in his system."

Benn initially remained confident Saturday's fight against fellow Briton, Eubank Jr, at London's O2 Arena would go ahead.

Conor Benn

But co-promoters Matchroom announced on Thursday that the clash was off after the British Boxing Board of Control said it was "prohibited and not in the interests of boxing".

"It's done the sport no favours whatsoever with the way it's come out, the way it's been handled," continued 31-year-old Warrington.

"It's put the promoters in a bad light, it's put the British Board of Control in a bad light.

"I was shocked and I was gutted, both of those emotions.

"People have already made comments, 'that's why he's as good as he is', 'that's why he's improved so quickly'.

"All I wanted to do was believe it was hard work and dedication. I'm not saying he's not trained hard, he's definitely trained hard.

"But if he's had an advantage then you get your gains quicker than anyone who's not using substances."

Warrington was sidelined for three months after suffering the jaw injury and tearing ligaments in his left hand during his defeat of Martinez.

He lost almost a stone in the immediate aftermath having been forced to eat liquidised food and only began punching again in August.

"It was scandalous, mate; eating things like chicken and broccoli watered down and blended is as bad as it sounds, it's absolutely vile," he said.

"I've never really had anything facial. A broken jaw, it's the worst injury I've had in my career so far.

"In my head now, it's back to normal."

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