Conor Benn returns this weekend in Las Vegas, taking on unbeaten New Yorker Peter Dobson. ‘The Destroyer’ takes his first steps as a headline attraction Stateside, hoping to put himself back in the mix at welterweight after a difficult couple of years.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Benn’s Nevada mission, including a full Tale of the Tape and details on how to watch the show.
Place Of Birth: Essex, United Kingdom
Residence: Essex, United Kingdom
Alias: The Destroyer
Record: 22-0 (14 KOs)
Last Fight: Won UD10 vs Rodolfo Orozco (September 2023)
Place Of Birth: The Bronx, New York, USA
Residence: The Bronx, New York, USA
Alias: Pistol Pete
Record: 16-0 (9 KOs)
Last Fight: Won UD8 vs Rodrigo Coria (June 2022)
Conor Benn knows he has it all to prove now. Not just in the ring, where his skills have never been in question. But outside of it as well. His UK Anti-Doping test failures are a well-worn topic of discussion. But despite the lifting of his ban by the National Anti-Doping Panel, doubts remain over Benn. The British Boxing Board of Control has refused to renew the license he sacrificed during the investigation, hence ‘The Destroyer’ returns to America for the second fight in a row.
Last time, Benn blew off the ring rust by hitting tough Mexican Rodolfo Orozco with every shot in the book on the way to a unanimous decision win. Dobson is at about the same level as an opponent albeit, unlike Orozco, he has never lost a pro fight. It is clear that this is envisioned primarily as a bout to make Benn look good, rather than to challenge him too deeply.
It’s a sensible promotional move from Matchroom. This is Benn’s second fight in 22 months, having been out for 17 of those between an April 2022 victory over Chris Algieri and his comeback against Orozco. After such a lay-off, it is important to get your sea-legs under you again.
This will, however, need to be Benn’s last fight of this nature. The failed drugs tests turned many against Benn and understandably so. He may never regain the public’s trust, but he can still carve out a fine career. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Tyson Fury, Jarrell Miller and Dillian Whyte are among those who received further opportunities after adverse tests in recent years. As reputationally damaging as such a violation can be, boxing is not yet at a stage where it pulls up the drawbridge on those who fail tests.
So Benn will fight on and he will likely win. He is ranked fifth by the WBC, meaning that world title opportunities could follow. WBC champion Terence Crawford is not yet looking in his direction, but following up the Orozco and Dobson fights with a quality win over a fellow ranked contender would put him on the radar of ‘Bud’. For now, the watchword is “rebuild”, as Benn attempts to get back to where he was before the ban.
When an unbeaten underdog fighter takes on a bout like this, you wonder about their motivations. What is behind the sudden step up in class? Is it an acknowledgement that, after a career spent racking up wins at a lower level, it’s time to make the big bucks as an opponent? Is it a desire to elevate yourself from obscurity to ubiquity? Your very own Rocky Balboa story?
Considering Dobson is 33 years old and has only ever contested one scheduled 10-rounder, it feels like this fight might be a case of making hay while the sun shines. If he ever had them, those world title aspirations that fuel the early days of a career are probably long gone.
A puncher’s chance against a world-ranked fighter on the comeback trail appeals as it offers a big televised platform and plenty of eyeballs. If Dobson can put in a good showing, even in defeat, more opportunities will come. Not in terms of world title belts and untold riches. But chances to provide tough competition for other name fighters. There’s money to be made in that game. Promoters are crying out for solid hands who can give their prized assets some quality ring time.
It may seem dismissive to damn Dobson to such a fate. But realistically, he has little chance here. Underdogs have surprised us before, it’s what makes the sport of boxing so appealing. A moment of brilliance, a smidgen of luck and your whole life can change. But such kismet comprises the sum total of Dobson’s chances here.
How To Watch
Date: Saturday February 3rd
Time: 8pm UK time
Ring Walk (approx): 10:30 pm UK time
TV Channel: DAZN
Conor Benn vs. Peter Dobson
Austin Williams vs. Arme Mbumba-Yassa
Johnny Fisher vs. Dmytro Bezus
Khaili Coe vs. Gerardo Osuna
George Liddard vs. Andrew Buchanan
Jimmy Sains vs. Alejandro Avalos
You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page