Hearn: If Both Win Their Fights, Expect Josh Kelly vs. Conor Benn in 2021

Eddie Hearn, promoter for undefeated welterweight contender Conor Benn, says the boxer is only three or four fights away from a world title fight.

He believes the young boxer has “emerged from the shadow” of his famous father, Nigel Benn.

Benn will return on April 10 against his toughest opponent to date, Samuel Vargas, who fought with some of the big names at the weight like Danny Garcia, Amir Khan and Vergil Ortiz.

Benn holds a ranking place of 11 with the WBA. The main champion of the sanctioning body is Manny Pacquiao, who has been away from the ring since winning the title from Keith Thurman in July 2019.

Should Benn win his fight with Vargas, and then rival Josh Kelly overcomes David Avanesyan in their upcoming clash, Hearn will aim to match them against each other by the end of the year.

“When he made his debut, I didn’t even know if he would win his second fight, let alone be world ranked and in a position to challenge for championships! He is three or four fights away from finding out if he can be a world champion,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“When people talked about Josh Kelly vs Conor Benn they thought it was a mismatch. Now they are talking about it as a 50-50 fight. That’s because of the improvement of Benn. If they both come through, expect to see them in the ring together later in 2021.”

In his last outing, Benn dominated former IBO champion Sebastian Formella.

Vargas is viewed as a step up from Formella.

“It is a big step up. Sebastian Formella was a nice step up but this is a different kind of style. Vargas? Fire-fight! He will come to fight, and he can punch. We saw him nearly knock out Amir Khan in the first round in Birmingham. A tough fight but Benn wants these kind of fights,” Hearn said.

“Although he only boxed once in 2020, he is a revelation. People thought he was a gimmick but he’s in a position to make his statement. Last time out against Formella, there was a lot of noise with people talking about his development. He is a star. We shouldn’t forget that Campbell Hatton will make his debut on the Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin card. I liken those two [Hatton and Benn] – two legendary fathers of the fight game and two guys who are making their own way. For Campbell, it’s a slow journey but, for Conor, he has emerged from the shadows. If he can beat Vargas it will be a real statement.”