Nigel Benn’s boxer son Conor has revealed his father has ignored his desperate attempts to pull the plug on a remarkable return to the ring at the age of 55.
The former WBO middleweight and WBC super-middleweight champion has not boxed since 1996, but will touch gloves with Australian Sakio Bika on November 23 in Birmingham.
Bika held the WBC super-middleweight title from 2013 to 2014, 17 years after Benn lost the strap to South Africa’s Thulani Malinda in a controversial split decision.
Benn was denied a licence by the British Boxing Board of Control and will instead fight under the auspices of the British and Irish Boxing Authority which was founded just three years ago.
The Londoner has not taken a punch since his second defeat by Steve Collins in 1996, but insists he has passed a battery of stringent medical tests.
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‘The Dark Destroyer’ has remained in peak physical condition since his retirement and still regularly does two trainings sessions per day. He has stated that he understands why the British Boxing Board of Control turned down his request for a licence and claims he is well aware of the risks, but remains adamant that people should be worried for Bika’s safety rather than his.
Benn’s 22-year-old son, who currently boasts an undefeated professional record of 15-0, admitted his dad’s comeback is keeping him up at night.
“He’s been training like a nutter for as long as I can remember,” he said per the Mirror.
“I should have noticed that he was going to fight again but I can’t really believe it; it’s crazy, it’s madness.
“It’s a real concern for me as his son because I know what it’s like getting hit and it’s horrible. There’s nothing pleasant about it, who wants to see their dad get hit in the face?
“I’ve said what I’ve had to say. I said, ‘Dad, I really don’t want you to do this,’ but he’s still going to do it so I’ve got to respect his decision.”
The 55-year-old will train alongside his son for the next two months and has claimed the unexpected comeback is not financially motivated.
The former two-weight world champion suffered with depression and battled with sex addiction during his 48-fight career.
Benn turned to religion and became a born-again Christian after numerous failed suicide attempts and later moved to Australia after selling his vast collection of belts.
“I had a lot of issues in life that I never dealt with,” said Benn, who will now fight under the new ring name of ‘Benjamin Button.’
“I cheated on my wife for 16 years and I was dealing with depression.
“Then Jesus came and my life changed; no spliffs, no sex, no ecstasy, no cigarettes. Everything changed, but I just need that one more fight.
“I’m looking forward to the peace I’ll get after this fight; I think that’s what everyone really wants, peace in their life.News Now - Sport News