World featherweight champion Josh Warrington has demanded a lifetime ban from Conor Benn after his failed drug test because of boxing’s “barbaric” nature.
Benn’s much-anticipated fight with Chris Eubank Jr last Saturday (October 8) was postponed after the former tested positive for traces of the testosterone-boosting fertility drug clomiphene.
The 26-year-old Brit claims he’s a clean jock, posting on Instagram on Wednesday: “I hope the apology is as loud as the disrespect.”
Warrington knows all too well the brutality of boxing, having just recovered from the worst injury of his career – a broken jaw sustained while recovering the IBF belt from Kiko Martinez in March.
The Leeds fighter, who is preparing to defend his title against Mexico’s Luis Alberto Lopez on December 10, knows Benn personally but believes there is no excuse for being caught with an illegal substance.
“You never like to hear about people cheating in sports, especially in a sport like boxing where you go in there to hurt each other,” Warrington told the PA news agency. “People call it a science, we call it an art, but it’s also barbaric.
“I’m disappointed because I like Conor. Of course he’ll do his part and try to clear his name, but he was caught in black and white with illegal substances in his body, so if you’re guilty, you’re guilty.
“I have long spoken out strongly against drug scammers in sports. It’s a tough sport, man, people die in the ring. Even something physical like rugby, if a player is drugged and bumps into a player and KOs a player, the player gets KO’d [and be taken off the pitch].
“But if you’re in the ring and you hit someone, maybe they’ll go down, they’ll get back up and you’ll hit them again, and you’ll hit them again, and you’ll hit them again.
“It’s barbaric so it should be a lifetime ban. Obviously, Conor will come out with his reasons, but there shouldn’t be a reason he has that in his system.
Benn and Eubank Jr., 33, expressed a desire to fight each other as planned despite the negative test result, but the British Boxing Board of Control banned the fight and it was canceled last Thursday (October 6).
“It did the sport no favors at all with the way it came out, the way it was handled,” Warrington said. “It put the organizers in a bad light, it put the UK Board of Control in a bad light.
“I was shocked and I was disappointed, both emotions. People have already commented; ‘That’s why he’s as good as he is;’ “That’s why he improved so quickly.”
“All I wanted to do was believe it was hard work and dedication. I’m not saying he hasn’t trained hard; He’s definitely been training hard. But if he had an edge, then you get your gains quicker than anyone who doesn’t use substances.”