Conor Benn next fight: 5 opponents he could face including Kell Brook and Danny Garcia

  • Tom Ward

Conor Benn made short work of Chris van Heerden on Saturday night before he was seen celebrating with his promoter Eddie Hearn.

Benn, the son of British boxing legend Nigel, dominated the bout at the AO Arena in Manchester, although Van Heerden somehow stayed on his feet after the first couple of exchanges.

But it was all over a few moments later as referee Steve Gray was forced to stop the fight after the South African failed to beat the count in the second round.

The win leaves Benn with a 21-0 (14 KO) record overall.

Matchroom chief Hearn believes the future is bright for the top British prospect and named a host of fighters his young charge could potentially face off against in the future.

Speaking to DAZN, Hearn said: “He’s going to go on and become a world champion, now we’ve got to step up the opposition.

“He’s had a great development. [Samuel] Vargas, [Adrian] Granados, [Chris] Algieri, Van Heerden. Now it’s time for the more serious players of the division.

Boxing – Conor Benn v Chris Van Heerden – WBA Continental Welterweight Title – AO Arena, Manchester, Britain – April 16, 2022 Conor Benn celebrates after winning his fight against Chris Van Heerden Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

“It won’t be Amir Khan, he won’t be around until the end of the year. It’s going to be Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Adrien Broner, David Avanesyan. 

“We want a marquee fight. We want to take him back to London and fight at that beautiful O2. 

“It’s a brilliant journey, he’s a superstar and he’s really, really good. We would take a lot of these guys. It’s time for a serious test this summer.”

So, what’s next for the 25-year-old? Here, GiveMeSport looks at five potential opponents for his next fight.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JANUARY 18: Adrien Broner poses on the scale during his official weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 18, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Broner will challenge WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao for his title on January 19 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Adrien Broner

Once close friends with Floyd Mayweather, Adrien Broner has done little to harm his bad boy reputation having had several brushes with the law over the years.

The American, who is a few years older than the Englishman, has not fought since his win over Jovanie Santiago in February 2021.

But at the very least he is at least another name for Benn to add to his impressive CV.

Boxing – Amir Khan v Kell Brook – AO Arena, Manchester, Britain – February 19, 2022 Kell Brook celebrates winning the fight Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Kell Brook

Benn has also been rumoured to meet British rival Kell Brook for years only for their representatives to fail to agree on a deal.

Brook, 35, turned back the clock to put on a career-best performance against Amir Khan in February – showing he certainly isn’t past his sell-buy date.

But with Brook currently signed to a rival promoter in Ben Shalom, it remains to be seen if that fight can be made before the end of the year.

DALLAS, TEXAS – DECEMBER 04: Danny Garcia poses during his weigh in for his WBC & IBF world welterweight championship fight against Errol Spence Jr. on December 04, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Danny Garcia

With big name value and experience to boot, Danny Garcia seems like an obvious choice.

However, it’s worth pointing out that Khan once thought the exact same thing himself, only to come up rather short.

Would that be a risk worth taking? Hearn certainly seems to think so in any case.

FRISCO, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 29: Mikey Garcia celebrates after defeating Jessie Vargas in a unanimous decision in a WBC Welterweight Diamond Championship bout at The Ford Center at The Star on February 29, 2020 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Mikey Garcia

Like Danny, Mikey Garcia (no relation) may not get the credit he deserves, but he has never been one to shy away from a challenge.

Despite the American’s struggles as of late, Garcia would be a huge obstacle to clear on the path to winning a world title.

Born in Oxnard but now based in Los Angeles, the 34-year-old has only lost to Sandor Martin and Errol Spence Jr, two current world champions, on points.

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Manny Pacquiao

Where was Manny Pacquiao born?

Keith Thurman

If not Garcia, Hearn has suggested Keith Thurman could get the nod instead after he made a comeback earlier this year.

His loss to Manny Pacquiao notwithstanding, Thurman has been in the ring with some of the best out there, and more often than not got his hand raised on the night.

A win over Thurman would set Benn up rather nicely for a title shot against Spence Jr next year.

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