Eddie Hearn discusses failed Kell Brook vs. Conor Benn deal

By Barry Holbrook: Eddie Hearn says Kell Brook asked for three times what he offered him for a fight against welterweight contender Conor Benn for a big fight that he wanted to schedule for June on DAZN.

Hearn says the message that he took IBF welweight champion Brook from formerly wanting significantly more than what he was offering suggests that he doesn’t want the fight with Benn, but he would consider it if he were offered “mad money.

Interestingly, Hearn says the offer he made for Brook was more than what he got for his last fight against Amir Khan on February 19th.

Conor Benn’s April 16th fight to be announced

With the Brook fight not happening, Hearn states that he’ll be announcing Conor Benn’s April 16th contest soon.

While Hearn isn’t saying who the opponent will be for Benn, he’s widely believed to be a 34-year-old inactive Chris van Heerden, a fighter that hasn’t seen action since his first round no contest fight with Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis in 2020.

The South African van Heerden (28-2-1, 12 KOs) hasn’t won a fight since 2019, but he’s a fighter that is well known to hardcore boxing fans. In 2015, van Heerden was stopped in the fifth round by then 25-year-old Errol Spence Jr.

Of course, when Spence fought van Heerden, the South African was younger and arguably in the prime of his career.

“Fight news should be dropping soon, very soon, and it ain’t Kell Brook because $10 million is out of the equation,” said Conor Benn on social media about his next fight.

“I’ll be seeing you guys soon. Hopefully, the announcement is over the next 48 hours,” Benn said.

The way that Benn is talking, his April 16th opponent will be a big name, but that’s not likely the case. The only fighters that Hearn has mentioned as his targets for Benn’s next fight are these old-timers:

  • Chris van Heerden
  • Adrien Bronner
  • Robert Guerrero
  • Maurice Hooker

If it were the former four-division world champion Broner that would be Benn’s opponent for April 16th, Hearn would already be talking nonstop in giving hints to the media. He’s been doing that, which suggests that van Heerden will be the guy that Benn faces on April 16th

Chris van Heerden is on the same level as Benn’s last opponent Chris Algieri in terms of talent and age. That is to say, van Heerden is NOT an upgrade to the level of fighters Benn has been matched against thus far in his career.

Boxing fans want to see Benn show some courage by accepting the fight against welterweight contender David Avanesyan. That’s a legitimate guy that has been asking for a battle against Benn for ages now, but Hearn has shown zero interest in making that match.

Khan to invoke rematch clause

“I don’t want to tell you what he asked for. I heard Amir Khan is going to invoke the rematch clause bizarrely,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on Khan wanting to activate rematch for Brook fight.

Amir Khan, Kell Brook boxing photo and news image

‘People are already contacting us and saying, ‘Would you like to pay us a step aside to not invoke the rematch clause?’ ‘No, you’re alright, thanks. You go on and do Khan-Brook II, and we’ll crack on.’

“I said to Conor Benn the other say, ‘You, my friend, are a young superstar. Don’t worry about basing your career around somebody else. Don’t worry about trying to land this payday. Everything is going to come for you,” said Hearn about Benn.

“So, we crack on with our career. His next fight will be announced for April 16th, and we’ll be ready for a huge show for Conor Benn. We’ll carry on talking to Kell Brook,” Hearn said.

It’s unbelievable that Amir Khan would activate his rematch clause for the Brook fight, as it wouldn’t sell. The way that Brook stopped the shot-looking Khan last February, the fans wouldn’t be interested in seeing them fight again.

Team Brook wanted three times what was offered

Perhaps it’s for the best that Brook supposedly asked for more than what Hearn offered him because it’s a fight that Benn would likely lose. Even now, the 35-year-old Brook would probably have too many skills, power, and experience for Benn.

If Hearn makes that fight, he could live to regret it with Brook exposing Benn as a pathetic hype joba fighter a productive of careful matchmaking and marketing.

Benn is the son of the legend Nigel Benn, but he hasn’t been brought along the way during his career. Nigel wasn’t fed fodder opposition during the early years of his career.

Nigel was battling Michael Watson, Doug Dewitt, and Sanderson Williams right off the bat.

“It’s not like I’m trying to, ‘Oh, you’re ridiculous.’ We’re moving on.’ I’d love to make the fight, but what we said to Kell and his training team, ‘If you want to with in June or July, we won’t fight in April because if Kell Brook stays out of the ring for a long time, he won’t fight again. That’s what we were trying to do.

“It’s no big deal. We’ll carry on talking, and hopefully, we’ll get it made, but Conor Benn’s next fight will be announced next week.

I basically offered them [Team Brook] more than they got for Amir Khan, and that’s a bigger fight, maybe, then fighting Conor Benn. They asked for over three times what I offered them. For me, it said, ‘We really don’t want to fight again, but if someone pays us mad money, we’ll consider it.’

“But we can’t wait around for Kell Brook. We’re going to get on. Like I said, we’ll carry on talking. Hopefully, we can get that fight made, but right now, let’s just work on the career of Conor Benn and keep it moving in the right direction.

“DAZN, I don’t know,” said Hearn in reacting to being told that Sam Jones said Conor Benn vs. Kell Brook would be a pay-per-view fight. “Slightly. Blimey, that’s a huge fight,” said Hearn when told on Sky days it would have been a pay-per-view fight.

“We’re NOT close to doing that fight, but, of course, it’s Sky pay-per-view. On DAZN, it depends on the model they wish to use.

“Subscription, obviously they have pay-per-view functionality, but there’s no point of discussing that because it’s not close at all,” said Hearn.

It would be better for Benn if Hearn DIDN’T make the fight with Brook and instead picked lower-tier top 15 contenders. These would be good options:

  • Rashedi Wallace
  • David Avanesyan
  • Abel Ramos
  • Josesito Lopez
  • Alexander Besputin
  • Custio Clayton
  • Daniyar Yeleussinov


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