Ahead of Conor Benn’s headline showdown on Saturday night against Sebastian Formella as he prepares to defend his WBA Continental Welterweight title in London, his dad – and British boxing royalty – Nigel Benn has given his assessment of his son’s career and where he’s heading.

Speaking exclusively 30 years since his loss to Chris Eubank in November 1990, Nigel Benn looks to the next generation of his family and:

  • Backs Conor to be a world champion by the time he’s 25
  • Feels his son does not get the credit he deserves
  • Rubbishes claims that Conor is ‘chinny’
  • Lifts the lid on his son’s intense training regime and compares it to his own partying ways 30 years on.
  • Says he will become Conor’s ‘butler from the Fresh Prince’ when he trains to fight Josh Kelly

Benn Predicts Conor will be World Champion by Age 25 and Rubbishes Claims of being Chinny

“Just because he was dropped by the Frenchman twice, they feel Connor’s a bit chinny. I got dropped by Anthony Logan, by Michael Watson, I got smacked around by Eubanks 30 years ago.

“But who got voted into the hall of fame, who got voted as the best middleweight by the WBC along Calzaghe?

“I got put on my backside but I still went in there and achieved it. And I think Connor can do exactly the same.

“Connor’s got that spitefulness in him. By the time he’s 25 he’ll either be world champion or on the right path because that’s when you start getting man strength. He’ll have full man strength by the time he’s 25 and he’ll start banging people out.

Benn: Conor is not ‘Wild’

“Conor’s fought guys in the top ten, former champions who have fought at top class level. He comes in and bangs them out – and yet he does not get the credit.

“One of the commentators was calling Conor ‘wild’, Conor is not wild, I was so angry. I thought ‘shut up, give him a break’.

“There’s nothing wild about Conor, he got caught with a shot but he’s not wild. He’s controlled. Once he’s got the measure of them he sets about them.

“When Josh Kelly drew out in New York no-one really said anything about that, yet you want to jump on my son – who’s doing really well and only had 20 amateur fights.

“If Connor fought like Kelly did I’d say to him ‘Conor, you got to go give the belt to the other guy, he won that fight’.”

Benn Contrasts Him ‘Burning the Candle at Both Ends’ with His Son’s Rigorous Training Regime

“When I was staying with him ahead of his last fight, he was writing down what he was putting in his body, what vitamins he was using. He was checking how much the mushrooms weigh, how much the potatoes weigh, it was doing my head in but that’s what makes him tick.

“When I was away I trained hard but then I’d go down to Rah Rahs in Tenerife and have about ten Depthchargers and some B52s. But I had that army discipline.

“Even though I was burning the candle at both ends, I’d spend about an hour and half running up a mountain, running hard. After that I’d have a fight then I’d go and party hard.

“But if I look at how Conor trains and what he’s doing, after he’s done the training Conor doesn’t go out, he goes straight to bed then he gets up and does it all again.

“That’s what I love about him. My training was completely different – Conor’s not like me. Things have evolved as well. ‘Get a bit of steak down ya’ they used to say. These days it’s have five meals a day and drink three litres of water a day – what’s that about? There wasn’t any science in 88-89.

“It blows my mind how Connor trains, I believe he can achieve more than me because he’s got the right attitude and a fighter’s instinct, you’re born with that.

“Conor’s at a stage in his life now where he wants the right fights and the right people. Conor’s ready for anyone really.

“What I love about him is his dedication, his fitness, his roadwork, his sparring, his gym work, his weights, his conditioning. You have to understand, he’s only just really started as a boxer, he’s only had about 20 amateur fights. And that was in Australia.

“He has got pedigree. He’s not like that Josh Kelly who has had over 200 amateur fights. Conor’s learning his trade. He’s going all the way.”

Benn will become Conor’s “Butler from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” when He Signs to Fight Rival Kelly

“I do see Kelly fighting Conor, and for his sake sooner than later. He’s got good movement but if you can’t knock people out, that’s it.

“When you fight guys who don’t want to hit back you can do all your flashy stuff, but when you’ve got someone like Conor who can hit back, it’s completely different.

“That will be a big fight and I can’t wait for that. I’ll be over with my son training alongside Tony Simms.

“I’m just like Jeffrey the Butler from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, I just do all his cleaning up, that’s all I do. When I was over last that’s all I did. I cooked for him, walked the dog for him but I don’t mind taking the pressure off his head, so he can concentrate on his training.”

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