Conor Benn wants an intriguing domestic dust-up with either Amir Khan or Kell Brook if he gets by Samuel Vargas on Saturday April 10, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the US and more than 200 countries and territories.
Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) turned in a career-best performance last time out in November as he dominated Germany's Sebastian Formella over ten rounds, outfighting and outboxing the former IBO World Champion at the top of the bill at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
Victory over Vargas would be the next logical step for the son of the legendary Nigel Benn, and if he gets the job done this month he sees former world champions Brook and Khan — who have been linked on-and-off with a each against one another for years — as a vital platform between where he is now and where he wants to be: world title contention for himself.
"Vargas is an experienced fighter," said Benn. "He’s got tonnes of heart. He’s got tonnes of grit and sheer determination that so many fighters lack. He brings the heat!
"This ain’t going to be a one-two lights out. It isn’t going to be one of them. This is going to be a hard fight. This is going to be me getting stuck straight in and us two going at it in there. It’s going to be one hell of a fight and that’s what I’m preparing for.
"He gave Amir Khan hell. Amir Khan got saved by the bell and by the grace of God three or four times in that fight. He had him on the deck. I know Khan’s chin isn’t that credible but he’s a well-respected fighter. He’s achieved everything that I want to achieve in the sport. This is going to be a harder fight than people think in my opinion.
“I made the mistake once of overlooking an opponent and I hit the deck twice. I can go back to that fight because it was a career-defining moment for me. I had to ask myself how badly I wanted it. It taught me to never overlook an opponent. I thought, ‘what’s he going to do to me?’. Boom, straight one-two. That was a massive reality check for me. Since then I don’t overlook opponents.
"I’m not overlooking Vargas, but what doors open after him? I want a big domestic fight still. Someone that I can take that experience off. The Amir Khans, the Kell Brooks. The Josh Kelly fight is still there if he’s still fighting. The Amir Khan fight would be one hell of a fight. That would be a great British clash. Amir Khan was a fighter I looked up to and so was Kell Brook. Why not put me in with one of them after Vargas?
“This is definitely going to be an entertaining fight for the public. This is going to be one that you don’t want to miss. This is going to be a steppingstone in my career. It’s going to be a massive fight. It’s going to be a great fight. It’s going to be a hard fight. I’m going to have to show grit, determination, hunger, skill and power - the full shebang!"
Khan recently hinted he may retire very soon after he gets one of the two fights he claims he still wants: Brook or welterweight legend Manny Pacquiao.
Watch Brook vs. Vargas on Apr. 10 live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, and DAZN everywhere else excluding Australia, New Zealand and China.