Chris Van Heerden is not the opponent admirers wished for Conor Benn. But it is the type of struggle he demands, writes John Dennen
CONOR BENN is rapidly turning into have to-enjoy tv. It’s not that his clash on Saturday (April 16) with South African veteran Chris Van Heerden at the Manchester Arena is predicted to force the soaring star to his limits. It’s extra that Benn has a knack for creating drama.
In his final battle, knowledgeable American Chris Algieri could have posed Benn some complications with movement and footwork. Instead the Briton uncovered a beautiful 1-punch finish to conclusion the battle in the fourth spherical.
Benn is threatening extra of the identical versus Van Heerden. The South African is 34 decades old and coming toward the conclusion of a prolonged vocation. But he has been in the ring with some of the division’s most effective. In 2015 he boxed a growing Errol Spence, getting rid of inside of eight rounds. Van Heerden’s most latest combat at the end of 2020 was towards the superb Jaron Ennis. It finished as a no contest just after just 159 seconds, a clash of heads leaving Van Heerden slice badly. The Philadelphia fighter is one of the most spectacular energetic welterweights in the globe nowadays and even though he was only just getting started in that combat still unleashed all sorts of heavy artillery on the regrettable Van Heerden, pounding him with shots the head, attacking the physique and hardly permitting the South African to get a shot off.
To have experienced a lot less than 1 round given that 2019 is a superior diploma of inactivity to be going into a combat with Conor Benn. The Briton is aggressive. He likes to let his hands go and will not wait much too extensive prior to undertaking so. Year by yr his boxing has grow to be a lot more polished and his electric power is coming by way of. Benn is an ever more dangerous puncher and he’s on the lookout to make a statement.
He’ll reduce Van Heerden from settling into the battle. The South African southpaw is tricky but may possibly have to rely on that to give Benn rounds. Benn ought to manage him and finish the contest by the mid-phase of the battle.
Which is not to say this isn’t the variety of struggle that Benn demands to have. In his 20-bout professional job so much, Conor has not yet fought a southpaw. If down the line he is to acquire on individuals like Ennis, who switches stance quickly, or Spence, a southpaw, he has to combat somebody like Van Heerden, internationally seasoned, but not so significantly a phase up, much more an opponent to develop towards.
Having a entire camp of southpaw sparring is necessary for him to spherical out his boxing. “They [southpaws] are fully unique. It is all back again to entrance truly. But I’m obtaining a residence for my shots,” Benn stated. “I imagine I fill him in, to be honest. I’m ready for a tricky battle. It could go a tough 12 rounds.
“I’m not overlooking Van Heerden, due to the fact he can convey whichever he desires. I just believe that he simply cannot are living with my firepower. It’s managed aggression. When I hit him I’m not just heading to consider and strike him and allow him off. I’ll hit him tricky and truly permit him know from the get-go that he’s in with a real pet dog.”
It serves a intent also in the continuing establish up of his profile. This will be the very first time the Brentwood-dependent boxer will have headlined in Manchester. Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn insists that this will be Conor’s previous take a look at. Future he’s promising a major battle for Benn in the summertime. “Conor Benn utilized to be looked at as quite an uncomplicated payday and now people are chatting about him with the likes of Jaron Ennis and Vergil Ortiz,” Hearn reported. “I’ve usually appreciated the Adrien Broner struggle, for a extensive time, mainly because I want to carry Broner to the British isles. But I really do not just want to take a money fight for the sake of having a revenue struggle. I want to get a battle that is heading to progress Conor Benn, both as a fighter but also on the route to getting planet champion. A big title in a final eliminator to place him in a mandatory situation to battle for a globe title is extremely desirable.
“It is there for Conor Benn to be in a huge struggle this summer, sure that can development him but of course that can make him lifetime-modifying income as effectively and that is generally the intention for us to do. You communicate about Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia, Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman, all these form of fights,” Hearn ongoing. “I’ve been a very little conservative with his matchmaking and right after Van Heerden I’m prepared to just let those people shackles off and say let us operate totally free now and let us just go for it.
“You will see him in a mega-battle this summertime, July, August, as soon as he comes through this combat.”
“I’ll combat anybody they place in entrance of me,” Benn extra. “I’m truthfully not definitely that fussed. Whoever they put in entrance of me is likely to get it.”
On the undercard, European winner Chris Billam-Smith rematches Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy. The two boxed very last yr and Billam-Smith edged him out on a split determination. McCarthy was hazardous with back arms and seemed to damage Billam-Smith when he swept them across. But the champion took them and retained far more form to his boxing. It was a gritty displaying and Billam-Smith fought by means of tough moments to consider the gain just after a pretty close combat [inset]. Billam-Smith could secure yet another factors victory.
Somewhere else on the undercard ex-GB boxer Cyrus Pattinson goes into his to start with 8-rounder in only his fourth pro bout.
“Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver” Jack Cullen returns to the Manchester Arena immediately after getting stopped there in a European title battle final time out. Nearby prospective clients Campbell Hatton, son of Mancunian legend Ricky, Jordan Thompson and Luke Evans will also be in action.
DAZN televise and Matchroom boost.
The Verdict This must be Benn’s final ‘learning’ combat.