Conor Benn vs Samuel Vargas: When are they fighting and who will win?

Conor Benn has impressed with his punching prowess and now gets the chance to showcase his skills against an experienced operator at welterweight.

Exciting welterweight prospect Connor "The Destroyer" Benn takes a major step-up in class when he returns to the ring in April for a bout with the experienced and dangerous Colombian fighter, Samuel Vargas.

Now in possession of a 17-0 record, the 24-year-old son of former super middleweight champion Nigel Benn has made steady progress since his debut back in 2016.

He now faces the biggest test of his young career, with Vargas having shared a ring with the likes of Vergil Ortiz Jr, Errol Spence Jr, Danny Garcia and more recently, the UK's own Amir Khan.

Having fought just once in the past 18 months, young Benn impressed in his most recent contest, out-pointing German opponent Sebastian Formella, a man with just one loss on his record, a points loss to former world titleholder Shawn Porter.

However, a bout with the durable and experienced Colombian could prove his toughest assignment in the ring to date.

Benn on track for title shot

While comparisons with his father could prove hard to shake, the London-based star is beginning to forge his own path towards a potential world title tilt with promoter Eddie Hearn suggesting that the young 'Destroyer' could emulate his father sooner rather than later.

"He is three or four fights away from finding out if he can be a world champion", Hearn claimed.

"When people talked about Josh Kelly vs Conor Benn, they thought it was a mismatch. Now they are talking about it as a 50-50 fight.

"That's because of the improvement of Benn."

While a world-title fight is not on Benn's immediate horizon, the young fighter is not short of confidence and would appear to be cut from the same cloth that made his father a hero for his epic rivalry with Chris Eubank Sr.

"[Formella] covered up a bit, there wasn't much to hit, so he got a beating for ten rounds," Benn told Sky Sports following his victory.

"I haven't got to knock them out to win anymore because I'm a good boxer who can bang and punch. I can go ten rounds and flick through the gears.

"So if [Vargas] wants to meet in the middle, we can go at it. If he wants to move, I will hunt him down. I can beat him on points by giving him a beating for the ten rounds. If it doesn't go 10 or 12, I will knock him out early."

"I wouldn't be surprised if I knock him out in one round."

Benn ready for an explosive contest

While such bluster and bravado is nothing new in the sport of boxing, Benn does appear to have his head planted firmly on his shoulders and expects a tough fight against a 39-fight veteran who has shared a ring with some of the division's best fighters in recent years.

"I've got a lively opponent who will come for it," Benn said. "I have to level up again.

"Vargas brings a real threat and one I'm really excited for.

"This is a guy who put [Amir] Khan on the deck and a fighter who has been in with Errol Spence.

Amir Khan (left) and Samuel Vargas in action during their Welterweight contest at Arena Birmingham, Birmingham.
Amir Khan (left) and Samuel Vargas in action during their Welterweight contest at Arena Birmingham, Birmingham.

"He's definitely going to bring the heat on April 10, and I'm going to match fire with fire - so it should be explosive.

Undoubtedly, Vargas represents the biggest challenge of Benn's fledgeling career however, the Colombian has now won only two of his previous six bouts.

Despite sharing a ring with several elite fighters, the Bogota native has always fallen short at the highest level and was stopped inside seven rounds in his most recent bout against the exciting Ortiz.

A stepping stone fight, nothing less than a win will do for Benn. But as Josh Warrington experienced, and so did Josh Kelly earlier this year, being expected to win can be a burden.

The pressure of living up to the Benn name will undoubtedly live with Conor for his whole career. But, it is something that Conor himself relishes for his development.

"Growing up around my dad, I was always naturally drawn to the sport of boxing.

"Once I felt confident in my abilities as a boxer, it was a natural fit.

"My dad's always been in my corner with words of encouragement or criticism if needed, but he's also let me make my own impression on the sport and taken a backseat when necessary too."

Still, the sport is littered with many sons who have failed to live up to the reputation built by their legendary fathers: Ronald Hearns, Marvis Frazier and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr are just three prime examples.

For the second-generation Benn to become something more than a mere footnote in this sport's history, a win over the experienced Vargas is surely a must.

Where and when?

Benn vs Vargas is scheduled for 12 rounds on Saturday, April 10 with the ring-walk expected to take place at 10.30pm BST.

The bout will continue Matchroom Boxing's trend of taking place at the Wembley Arena, London, England.

What's on the line?

Benn will make the fourth defence of his WBA Continental welterweight title.

Where can I watch it?

Sky Sports will broadcast the event for UK and Irish viewers, while fans worldwide, including the United States, can stream the fight live on DAZN.

Where's the value?

At almost 32 years old, Vargas remains a dangerous and live opponent who should not be under-estimated, despite his seventh-round TKO loss at the hands of Ortiz in California last summer.

The Colombian was no match for the speed and ferociousness of Ortiz Jr but is a tough customer and certainly represents a big step up in class for the Londoner.

However, with Benn as short as 1/14 odds on for the win, oddsmakers appear to have done just that. Vargas is a massive 8/1 to score an upset victory.

* the odds may have changed since the time this was published

Ultimately, with Benn the fresher and hungrier fighter, he should be expected to claim the win, but Vargas, a durable character, should at least provide some solid resistance in what could prove to be a more intriguing contest than the oddsmakers would suggest.

Who else is on the card?

Shannon Courtenay v Ebanie Bridges - for vacant WBA female bantamweight title

Savannah Marshall v Femke Hermans - for WBO female middleweight title

Ukashir Farooq v TBA

John Hedges v TBA