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Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr.’s Rematch in Abu Dhabi Hangs in the Balance

The much-anticipated rematch between British welterweights Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr. may be in jeopardy due to licensing issues. Speculation has been rife that the two boxers are looking to revive their failed bout from last October in Abu Dhabi on June 3, but Eubank Jr. may not be able to obtain the necessary approval from the British Boxing Board of Control to fight overseas.

All British boxers require an active license from the regulatory body for prizefighting to fight on home soil, and licensed boxers need the board’s approval to fight overseas. However, Benn voluntarily relinquished his license last October after twice testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug, which means he is under no obligation to get the nod from the board to fight abroad.

Eubank Jr., on the other hand, will need the board’s approval to fight Benn in Abu Dhabi. Robert Smith, the general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, has stated that Eubank Jr. would require approval before he could fight Benn overseas.

Smith also indicated that Benn’s trainer, Tony Sims, would require approval from the board as well.

“If any British license holder – boxer, trainer, etc – wants to fight in a tournament abroad with another commission they have to apply to us for permission,” Smith said. “Once we get an application from a British license holder to take part in an event abroad, we will be able to say yes or no.”

Smith suggested that there were a variety of penalties that could be imposed on those who flout the board’s regulations, including fines, suspensions, or withdrawals of licenses.

Benn and the board have been at odds since last year’s drug scandal, and the welterweight has threatened legal action against the board. However, Benn was reinstated into the welterweight rankings of the World Boxing Council earlier this month.

While there has been no official word yet on whether the rematch will go ahead as planned, the uncertainty over Eubank Jr.’s licensing could potentially scupper the highly-anticipated bout.


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