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Conor Benn running towards boxing’s welterweight elite


Conor Benn put in many miles on the road training for his boxing bout with Samuel Vargas. He enjoyed the help of young friend Beau MacDonald. 

Welterweight boxer Conor Benn nears his next challenge in the ring against Samuel Vargas, and he looks to continue his momentum up the ranks.

Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) has the pressure of being boxing great Nigel Benn’s son on his shoulders, but he’s proving fight by fight that he’s a boxer of substance and not nepotism.

He showed a new dimension to his game in November when he thoroughly outboxed Sebastian Formella for a clear unanimous decision. Formella had the hype of holding his own against former welterweight champion Shawn Porter in an August decision loss. Benn looked just as good, if not better, than Porter against Formella.

On Saturday, April 10, Benn fights in his home country at the Copper Box Arena in London, England, against tough veteran Samuel Vargas. Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) is coming off a July knockout loss to Vergil Ortiz Jr. Vargas lacks notable wins but has bravely challenged Errol Spence Jr. and Danny Garcia. He lost those fights, but a win against Benn could revive his relevance.

Recently, The Sun ran a story featuring the details of Benn’s early morning road runs with 13-year-old cross country standout Beau MacDonald. It’s a strange pairing, but the young distance running talent helps push the 24-year-old Benn. MacDonald help make training runs fun for Benn.

“Training had become very, I can’t say, boring,” Benn told FanSided during a recent media conference. “It becomes stale when you’re doing it every single day every single camp the same routine. So I’d like to change it up. I go to Beau’s run down Southend beach pretend like I’m in Miami when really it’s minus three degrees, but we’ve got a few palm trees, so you can sort of use your imagination.”

Conor Benn and Samuel Vargas meet in the ring on Saturday, April 10. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on DAZN.

MacDonald may be young, but he’s already a national cross-country champion. If Benn is matching MacDonald’s pace, then he’s in top shape cardiovascularly. Boxers have long turned to road runs for endurance training, but working along a youthful distance runner gives Benn more of a challenge and some added camaraderie.

“It’s a pleasure having the young boy around with me,” said Benn. “I’m a big believer in inspiring the younger generation to come through. He makes me laugh. It makes me happy. He’s a young kid, a bit of fresh air.”

While Benn is having a good time running alongside MacDonald, he’s focused on his fight with Vargas and blocking out distractions. Recently, fellow countryman and welterweight rival Amir Khan talked to Sky Sports about the dangers of fighting Vargas. He should know. Vargas dropped Khan during their fight in 2018, but Khan knocked Vargas down twice and won by unanimous decision.

Benn wasn’t concerned with what Khan had to say.

“I ain’t worried about what no one else says,” said Benn. “I see what I see. Khan is right. He [Vargas] is a tough opponent. I may come right in. It presents any risk when someone’s in there trying to take your head off. It’s always a risk.”

If Benn strings together another dominant victory over Vargas, his stock will continue to rise. Boxrec.com has Benn rated as the 28th best welterweight in the world. He’s steadily working towards the top 20 and the prospect of major fights.

Benn has the conditioning to go the distance. Now, he’s ready to show he has the skills to fight the division’s best.

 



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