Conor Benn’s coach Tony Sims reveals reaction to fighter’s adverse drug test result

Conor Benn’s coach Tony Sims has revealed his ‘devastation’ at the news of his fighter’s adverse drug test finding this week.

Benn, 26, was due to fight Chris Eubank Jr at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night but returned a test result with traces of a fertility drug, leading to the postponement of the catchweight contest.

After the news of the postponement was announced on Thursday, Sims wrote on social media: “After 26 years in boxing, a sport I love and have dedicated my life to, I can say hand on heart that I have never experienced or witnessed any athlete in my camp fail an anti-doping test, voluntary or mandatory, and I stand proud by that fact.

“Today leaves me truly devastated as we call a postponement to such an amazing event that I was honoured to say I was part of. I have worked closely with Conor Benn for the last 7 years, developing and mentoring him as a fighter in the ring and a man outside of it.

“In particular we have completed this recent 12-week camp alongside Nigel, his father who has lived with Conor day to day, beginning to end. Having spoken to Conor personally in length surrounding the subject and listening to him, I support him as a coach and a friend.

“We are determined to get to the bottom of this as a team, working closely with Conor’s legal advisors in an effort to understand the meaning of the ‘adverse finding’ and resolve this matter urgently. Thank you for your continued support.”

Benn maintained his innocence in the wake of the postponement, writing on social media: “I am truly gutted that we were unable to make this fight happen on Saturday and I’m sorry to everyone who has been affected by the postponement. I am still completely shocked and surprised by this and it has been a tough couple of days.

“My team and I will consider the next options including rescheduling the fight, but my immediate focus is on clearing my name because I am a clean athlete!”

Meanwhile, Eubank Jr, 33, wrote on Twitter: “Conor got caught using an illegal substance so the fight is off. Can’t believe it. I really apologise to the fans & everyone that bought tickets, traveled & booked hotels, this should not [have] happened. He has escaped his schooling… for now.”

Saturday’s main event was set to see Benn move up two weight classes, while Eubank Jr was due to cut three pounds more than usual.

The fight was scheduled to take place almost exactly 29 years to the day after the pair’s fathers, Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn, rounded out one of the most storied rivalries in British boxing history. Their rematch in 1993 ended as a draw, three years after Eubank had stopped Benn in the ninth round of the fighters’ first clash.