The 157-pound bout between Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr. has been called off after Benn tested positive for the drug clomiphene, it was announced Saturday.

This decision was made a few hours before the press conference ahead of the fight at London’s O2 Arena between the sons of British boxing legends Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank.

Matchroom’s statement was read: “After discussions with various parties, we have decided to officially postpone the fight between Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn. It cannot be denied that the decision of the British Boxing Board of Control to lift their sanctions was procedurally and without due process it was necessary.

“This remains a legal matter between the promoters and the Board, which we intend to pursue.

“However, while there are legitimate ways to facilitate the fight as planned, we do not believe it would be in the best interest of the fighters to pursue it at such a late stage, or in the wider interests of the sport.

– Everything you need to know about the Benn-Eubank postponement

“As promoters, we take our obligations and responsibilities very seriously and a full investigation is now required. We will not be making any further comment at this time and refunds to ticket holders will be announced at a later date.”

Benn’s A sample tested positive for clomiphene, a drug often used to boost testosterone levels, it was revealed on Wednesday. The British Boxing Board of Control said it would not sanction the bout because it was “not in the best interest of boxing”.

Co-promoters Matchroom Boxing and Wasserman Boxing decided to go ahead with the fight, and the pair on Wednesday looked for ways to get the bout sanctioned, according to sources, but to no avail.

At a press conference on Thursday, promoter Eddie Hearn said: “It’s been a very difficult day. We’ve been looking forward to an event that really captured the imagination of the British public for a fight that has a lot of history, but we wanted to do it today. to come here and officially announce that Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Conor Benn has been officially postponed.

“I want to make it clear that Conor Benn has not been suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control. We believe that he, like many others in this situation, has not been given the necessary clearance. I also want to clear many of them. Various reports from journalists and media that we have seen today that we are in the Supreme Court today and we are looking for other commissions. This is simply not true. [Matchroom] Wasserman took his time with boxing and we made a decision that we felt was in the best interests of all parties involved.

“It’s a sport that’s very, very dear to us – it’s a sport that we’ve been around our whole lives – and while we wanted this fight to happen, for the fans and the undercard fighters, we made the decision. , which we need at this time, especially in the interests of British sport and society.”

Eubank promoter Kalle Sauerland added: “I’ve just arrived [being with] Chris. He is very disappointed. She was fit, weighed, and very much looking forward to this weekend. My feelings also go out to each of the undercard fighters.

“It’s a deal [the situation]We feel it was completely inappropriate given the rules and we are now reviewing plans to reschedule.”

Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) said after a media training session on Wednesday that he is a “clean athlete” and denies doping, while Eubank (32-2, 23 KOs) said he still is ready regardless of the test result.

“Clomid (brand name clomiphene) is a fertility drug that increases testosterone by 50%,” Victor Conte, founder of BALCO, told ESPN. Conte spent time in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute performance-enhancing drugs before founding SNAC, a sports nutrition company.

Clomifene is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and Benn was tested by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), the organization that provides anti-doping testing in boxing and mixed martial arts.

Benn’s fight against Eubank – an extension of their fathers’ rivalry in the 1990s – was billed as one of the biggest events in British boxing this year.

Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank met twice for world titles in 1990 and 1993 in two of the biggest fights of the decade in British boxing.

Benn is ESPN’s No. 8 fighter at 147 pounds, while Eubank is No. 7 at 160 pounds.

ESPN’s Connor O’Halloran also contributed to this report.

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