As I pen this on Wednesday afternoon, the highly anticipated British family feud between Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr. hangs in the balance. Earlier this morning I saw the news that Benn had failed a VADA administered drug test for a banned substance.
They are scheduled to clash on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London.
The regulatory board in Britain has already made it clear their stance on the issue.
But this being boxing, you can count on those with a vested financial interest in this event to look for a loophole of some sort. Or just move the goalposts of what is acceptable.
I can't say that I'm really surprised by any of this. First of all, you need to be suspicious of any world-class athlete. As the noted track coach, Charlie Francis once stated, "It's a level playing field... just not the one you think."
And if there was ever a fight which was bound to have someone come up dirty it was this one, which was to be contested at a catch-weight of 157 pounds to accommodate both boxers. On one side you have a middleweight in Eubank, who has spent a good deal of time at super middleweight, and the lowest he ever weighed in for any fight was back in 2014, as he came in at 158.25 pounds versus Omar Siala. Meanwhile, Benn has been a career welterweight.
Which means one guy went through a weight cut, while the other had to bulk up -- by any means necessary.
As for what Benn tested positive for, Clomiphine, our very own Victor Conte tweeted out an explanation:
What's interesting to see in all this is the reaction of the public, the media, and those within the sport. Everyone claims that they want a clean sport free of PED's, but when it comes to fights that they have an interest in, inevitably there comes a sliding scale of outrage and rationalizing. When it's not their event, they want to fervently prosecute, but if they are involved in any way, well they become sympathizers and supplicants.
There are fans who simply do not care. Now, you can disagree with their stance, but I will say this, at least they are consistent. Label them blood thirsty savages, but they aren't hypocrites.
Unfortunately, there is a precedent for this fight to take place. It was about a year ago when Oscar Valdez failed a VADA test, but was allowed to proceed with his bout against Robson Conceicao. There should be a hard and unrelenting rule across the board for what takes place after someone pops dirty. Unfortunately, the business of boxing supersedes the sport of it.
Chances are that as you read this, that an announcement will be made that Eubank-Benn is a go. Which of courses sets a dangerous pattern, but it will be a familiar one.
But this question has to be asked: if a fight proceeds with a positive drug test, why even test at all?
Showtime has a card from the Dignity Health Center in Carson, California that features junior middleweight contender, Sebastian Fundora, who faces Carlos O'Campo....Also on this broadcast is a middleweight contest between Carlos Adames and Juan Macias Montiel, and the rematch between Fernando Martinez and Jerwin Ancahas for the IBF 115-pound title....Golden Boy Promotions announced that welterweight contender, Alexis Rocha, will face Jesus Perez on the Joseph Diaz-William Zepeda undercard on October 29....Good to have 'the Neighborhood' back on CBS....I can be reached at email@example.com.....