Conor Benn on headlining Matchroom Boxing card on Nov 21, 2020: fighting Sebastian Formella
“It don’t really bother me. When I get there, I’m going in there to do a job. Whether I’m on the undercard or the main event, I go in there with the same mentality of trying to get him out there.”
“There’s always quite a lot of hype when I fight. There’s always been loads of requirements. Not really, it’s always been like this for me – being under the spotlight. It’s okay though, I enjoy it. It’s part and parcel.”
“Nothing helps the days go quicker, I just want to fight. It’s probably the most frustrating week of the whole 12-week camp.”
“I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself. I’m going to go out there and do what I have to do. When I go in there, I fight. I’ve done it, 16 fights now. Is it a big platform? Of course it is. But let’s do it.”
On Nigel Benn, his father:
“He’s in Australia. He’s there with my family.”
“He’s already looking past Formella. You know what my dad’s like. He’s in awe of me, loves me to bits. I’ll always be better than my dad in his eyes. I’ll always achieve more than he achieved in his eyes. I think that’s just the way my dad is. He’s blinded by love. He’s just saying go out there and give it to him and that’s what I plan on doing.”
Becoming a father himself:
“There is a maturity but I’ll match whatever he wants to do. I know you’re laughing because you’re thinking stop lying to yourself but that’s what I plan on doing.”
On Formella going 12 rounds with Shawn Porter:
“I ain’t no Shawn Porter. I’m Conor Benn and when I get in there I am heavy handed. Shawn Porter is a world class fighter but I believe I am more heavy handed.”
“I don’t watch my opponents. I let my trainer do that and we work on what I need to for the fight. I don’t need to watch them, I’m not concerned with what he’s good at or not, his power or how quick his feet are. I train hard so I can match what he does.”
Eight months of lockdown
“Gave me time to sit back to reflect, mentality, physically and emotionally. I’m just not a hot headed guy anymore. I’m quite calm and take things in my stride. I’ve really changed in that aspect. I just can’t be bothered with anything in terms of opponents and whoever’s mates. Whoever is put in front of me on fight night will get it. I don’t have to fight everybody. I’d be 50-0 if I fought everyone who called me out. I’m really calm and content. Miss my family obviously. But it’s all a big progress about where I’m going, the direction and the route I’m taking. It’s all in process.”
Pressure because of dad Nigel Benn’s name?
“Nah, it don’t bother me. I’ve got past that, that boat has sailed. There’s no pressure on me. I’m an entertaining fighter and I’ll always look to entertain. Even when I looked cool, calm and calculated, I’m still exciting. Even when I finish them off, that is calculated it’s just textbook fighting. It is reckless, as Adam Smith would say. No it wasn’t reckless, I knew what I was doing. I know what I was throwing. I know what I knocked him out with. I knew what would land. I just don’t do it textbook style, I do it street fighting style.”
Father motivates him… ?
“I’ve achieved more than I thought I could have already, in my boxing, in my career and who I’m becoming as a man. I like the man I’m becoming. I’ve had to come through some stuff to get to this. But there’s no pressure. My dad will say I’ll achieve more than him and I think I already have in his head. The thing I handle things, the way I live my life, being married, having a baby on the way and bought a house with an extension and renovations at 24. To my dad I’ve achieved more than him. He burnt the candle at both ends. If he could go back and change things I’m sure he would. That’s why my dad doesn’t give me no boxing advice. He gives me tips on how to be a good man. Tips on how to deal with life, be a good husband, a good man and a role model. That’s where it really counts for me. Because when this boxing game is said and done, who am I? What sort of man I am? Will I be weird? Will I refuse to sign an autograph? Will I do charity work? Am I that guy or not? I like the man I am becoming. There is a lot of pressure there but it’s all good, pressure makes diamonds.”
Will his son box ?
“I’m telling you now my son ain’t fighting. I’d be very upset. My dad weren’t upset, but I’d actually be upset. I’ve worked hard for him to not fight. I could be in Australia in my dad’s mansion, living a normal life and work a normal job. There’s enough room in that house for me, my wife and son. They’ve got my room
all ready. When you look at it, I’m so backwards. Half a nut job me. I think to myself, why do I do this? Do the sledge, do the triangle to the point of being sick and then do 12-round sparring with two middleweights, and then doing a 15km run. Nut job me.”