The 02 Arena witnessed the debut of Conor Benn, the son of the legendary Nigel Benn, on the Martin-Joshua undercard. It seemed like a huge task for a 19-year-old walking out to 17,000 fans an hour before a World Heavyweight Championship bout.
If nerves were supposed to be an issue, there were no signs of any as he came out to a blistering start. To the eyes, it may have seemed reckless at first but the teenager was confident in his ability and power as his vicious body shots eventually stopped the relatively unknown Ivailo Boyanov.
Saturday was a big night for Benn; the pressure he was under was immense. Without a doubt, people will be comparing him to his father. As mentioned by David Haye, you could see Nigel Benn in him. The wide stance and aura was present in the ring and the devastating finish further epitomised this.
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However, hopefully this was just a glimpse of what is to come. He has now had a taste of the big stage and will know there is a long way to go to fulfil his potential. Under the guidance of Eddie Hearn, he should progress well, as have many young prospects, none more so than the headliner of the night - Anthony Joshua.
As for the name Conor carries, that should be seen as a blessing in disguise. He knows he is carrying on a legacy and his post-fight statement: “I need to be a 3 or 4-time World Champion” highlights this.
Although it is too early to say if he can carry his father’s legacy forward, the ‘Dark Destroyer’ took a huge step in the right direction tonight.
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