MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The fight between Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn was officially postponed on Thursday.
The British Boxing Board of Control had already withdrawn sanctioning of the bout after Benn failed a doping test but the promoters still hoped to stage the contest.
They have now admitted defeat.
Matchroom Boxing confirmed in a statement: “It is undeniable that the British Boxing Board of Control’s decision to withdraw their sanctioning was procedurally flawed and without due process. That remains a legal issue between the promoters and the board which we intend to pursue.
“However, whilst there are legal routes to facilitate the fight taking place as planned, we do not believe that it is in the fighters’ interests for those to be pursued at such a late stage, or in the wider interests of the sport.”
Benn and Eubank Jr. were to meet at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday in the all-British catchweight clash. It is 30 years since both fighters’ fathers — Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank — fought in the ring in one of British boxing’s great rivalries.
But the clash was thrown into doubt this week when Benn’s promoters, Matchroom, said he returned “an adverse analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug” following a random test by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.
Matchroom argued no rule violation had been confirmed because Benn’s B sample had not been tested.
Matchroom added Benn had since passed a test conducted by the UK Anti-Doping Agency.
But the BBBC released a statement on Wednesday saying it told both boxers and promoters that the fight was “prohibited as it is not in the interests of boxing.”
Kalle Sauerland of Wasserman Boxing, which represents Eubank, said Benn tested positive for the female fertility drug clomifene at the end of August or beginning of September.
Clomiphene is on WADA’s list of banned substances.
Matchroom said an investigation needed to start.
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