Eddie Hearn: Conor Benn is a 'world class welterweight'

Conor-Benn-091019-getty-ftr (Getty Images)

Eddie Hearn described boxer Conor Benn as “a world-class welterweight,” ahead of his fight with Sebastian Formella on Saturday.

The pair are due to headline a bill also featuring Alen Babic and Fabio Wardley. Matchroom promoter Hearn told Sky Sports that Benn has been improving by sparring with Kell Brook, who was defeated by Terence Crawford last weekend.

"He has sparred rounds with Kell Brook which proves he is a world-class welterweight," Hearn said. "I can't believe the improvements he has made because I wasn't sure that he would be good enough. But he is!

"Formella went 12 rounds with Shawn Porter, firing back, taking chances, he has a great chin."

Hearn also plans to make a fight with fellow UK fighter Josh Kelly, also impressing at welterweight.

"Kelly will fight David Avanesyan which is an incredible fight," Hearn explained.

"Kelly has the pedigree — he may be a world-class welterweight but he has to prove it.”

With Benn’s rapid improvement, he sees a way forward for the 24-year-old son of Nigel Benn to meet Kelly in 2021.

"Benn has come from nowhere. I remember watching his debut thinking: 'Blimey!'” Hearn said.

"Poor kid was 19 and we slung him out in front of 20,000 people at The O2!

"He works so hard to make the improvements he has made.

"This is Benn's coming-out fight. He can be a big star. If he can beat Formella, and do it in style, and if Kelly beats Avanesyan? That is a monstrous fight for 2021.

"Six months ago I would have said Kelly was a huge favorite. But let's see Benn against Formella. Fight fans may say it's a 50-50 match-up.

"Both guys have a huge future.

"Benn is a star. He has the benefit of his name and the legacy of his father. He has worked tirelessly to improve.

"But he hasn't boxed for over a year and he is going into the toughest fight of his career."

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