Hearn Admits Possible Benn-Pacquiao Fight In London Depends On Appeal

Conor Benn and Manny Pacquiao met face-to-face in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last week, with initial reports that the pair and their representatives were in talks for a proposed fight. 

Despite the 45-year-old Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) not having fought since August 2021, the possibility of a fight with Benn (23-0, 14 KOs) gained traction on social media. 

In an interview with BoxingScene.com, Benn said that it would not make sense for him to turn down a fight with the Filipino boxing legend. 

“I’m not going to turn down the offer to fight a legend if the offer is out to me. It would make no sense,” Benn told BoxingScene. 

Promoter Eddie Hearn recently spoke to IFLTV to give an update on the negotiations between Benn and Pacquaio. The promoter spoke about an ideal situation, saying that any confirmed fight with Pacquaio would ideally be held in the UK despite Benn’s ongoing battle to gain clearance to resume his career on British soil. 

“Listen, we all want that fight, and obviously Manny flew in for talks and to watch the show in Saudi Arabia, so that’s what we’d like to do,” Hearn said. “We’re waiting for the Conor Benn announcement from the appeal. We were told it was going to be in two weeks, and it’s now nearly four weeks, so we’ll be hearing about that appeal any day.

“It’s not in our hands, it’s in the hands of the [British Boxing] Board [of Control] and their decision will determine where Conor Benn’s next fight will be because, quite frankly, we could do Conor Benn versus Pacquiao in a stadium in London.”

Benn tested positive twice for the substance clomiphene in the lead-up to his canceled pay-per-view encounter with Chris Eubank Jr., which had been scheduled to take place at London’s O2 Arena on October 5, 2022. 

Benn has since resumed his career in the United States, claiming victory in September last year in Florida and most recently in February in Las Vegas. 

Responding to criticism from social media regarding Pacquaio’s and that the boxing great is past his best, Hearn said it was a relief  because it makes the fight more even on paper.

 “It’s a fight I like,” said Hearn. “I have seen people say, ‘Oh, he’s not the Manny Pacquiao of old’ – thank God for that. I think it’s a 50-50 fight at this stage.” 

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