Via Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says Chris Van Heerden is the last welterweight Conor Benn rival at his current level before putting him past the big names.
34-year-old Benn (20-0, 10 KOs) and Van Heerden (28-2-1, 12 KOs) will appear on DAZN on April 16 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Hearn says Benn, 25, is about 12 months behind Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis in terms of development, and that’s why he feels it’s okay to go up against Van Heerden.
Boots (28-0, 26 KOs) vs Van Heerden a year and a half ago in December 2020, the match was halted after the first round due to a bad cut that caused Chris to bump his head.
Hearn may be joking with himself by stressing that Benn is ONLY a year behind Ennis in development.
There’s more to it than just the number of fights. Ennis showed more skill than Benn in his first game back as a pro in 2016.
For Benn to catch up with Ennis now, it could take more than 10 years and he certainly won’t be able to do it against the likes of Chris Algieri, Van Heerden and Samuel Vargas.
Benn to start fighting the big names
The “big names” Hearn will start playing against Benn if he beats Van Heerden on April 16 are Kell Brook and Adrien Broner.
In other words, more and more elders like him are facing. It would resemble the same kind of opposition that Benn fought in record-breaking fights.
“Yes, that was the only delay,” said Eddie Hearn iFL TV on the reason for delaying the announcement of the April 16 fight between Benn and Chris Van Heerden as he was waiting to see if he could take Kell Brook or Amir Khan as options for Conor.
“Conor Benn is a superstar. We’ve seen that through the numbers through the skirmishes, and this is a big fight. The last time he headed in Liverpool in front of seven thousand people. Now he is going to Manchester.
“What other fighter can do that? Traveled across the country, advertising loudly and drawing such crowds, and he was still learning. Here it is, the last one before he jumps in like a really big name and great risk. Kell Brook, Adrien Broner,” said Hearn, listing the so-called “big names and BIG risks” that Benn would “jump into”.
“If Kell Brook makes the decision, I think he’ll sit down with me and start this fight in the summer,” Hearn said.
Brook a possibility for this year’s Conor
“We had to give a week’s notice, and Conor said to me, ‘I want to fight Kell Brook. Can you at least see if that’s a possibility? ‘ So we said, ‘It’s okay, we’re going to delay a week,'” Hearn said.
“We worked, worked for Kell Brook and suggested, talked to Amir Khan’s attorney, and it wasn’t there. Yeah,” Hearn said when asked if the rumor was true that Brook asked for $10 million for the fight with Benn. “It is somewhat outside of our offer.
“Now Amir Khan has activated the rematch clause, which I think is a more strategic play. Amir should never fight again, but maybe he wants another payday? Maybe in his head he thinks he can beat Kell Brook?
“It was a war for nothing. Now people want to see that fight again, but if it has to happen, it has to happen. We will wait then. We have a chance. The only fighter for Kell Brook was Conor Benn.
“I think he can make a lot of money for that game; it was a very good fight. I don’t think he wants to fight Khan again; I don’t think he wants to fight [Chris] Eubank. I don’t think he wants to fight Thurman. I don’t see the problem.
“Hopefully, Kell realizes it’s the perfect fight for him, and we’ll see what happens with Amir Khan’s situation. Obviously, if they have a rematch, we will [Benn] have to wait around”. Hearn said.
Listen to high Van Heerden ratings
Match promoter Eddie appreciates the soon-to-be 35-year-old Van Heerden as a boxer even though he has never beaten anyone as talented during his 16-year professional career.
Van Heerden largely fought against his subordinates, but when he tried to fend off Errol Spence Jr. and Jaron Ennis, he was mercilessly defeated.
Hearn mistakenly said that Van Heerden’s match against Boots Ennis ended in a technical draw in the first half. Wrong. It was an unnecessary decision after Van Heerden suffered a large cut on his forehead in the first round
. But before the cut opened, Van Heerden received a terrible punishment from Ennis and was forced to run around the ring trying to avoid being disqualified in the ring.
“I think a little further because he’s boxed at a very high level, he’s tough, he’s a male tennis player, this is the first competition that Conor Benn has faced in his career. his,” Hearn said of Van Heerden, 34.
Hearn said: “I think it’s a big challenge to be asked if Chris van Heerden is on the same level as the opposition Conor Benn has fought.
“I think he is a good fighter, and I think he is a tougher fighter than Algieri. He is definitely a tougher fight than Samuel Vargas, and certainly a tougher fight than Granados.
Also, I know it was 18 months ago, but Van Heerden’s last game was against Jaron Ennis. It’s still his last fight, and it’s caused quite a stir on Showtime. Conor Benn is not Jaron Ennis right now.
“I think he has all the potential to be a great heavyweight, but Jaron Ennis is still there. Jaron Ennis is possibly the best welding weight in the world. Fight [Ennis vs. Van Heerden] is it a technical draw or whatever [Ennis-Van Heerden was a no decision] for the clash of heads.
“What I am saying is that I feel like Conor Benn is 18 months behind Jaron Ennis or maybe 12 months. 18 months ago, in Chris Van Heerden’s final fight, he punched Jaron Ennis, making it Showtime, and Jaron Ennis was okay.
“Now you have a young welterweight division in Conor Benn, who is currently up against Chris Van Heerden and ‘that’s not good enough.’ Trust me; This is a good fight. Van Heerden was as tough as old boots.
“He will give everything, and he will not back down. He will not box cautiously; he won’t try to box and move.
“He will come to fight, and you will get a really good fight from Conor Benn. He is [Van Heerden] Hearn said.
There was nothing to judge from Van Heerden’s performance against Ennis as he looked horribly worse in that game.
Surprisingly, Hearn is more willing to fight Benn at this level of rivalry than to pit him against world-class fighters.