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5 Min ago Conor Benn fights Chris van Heerden in Manchester tonight as he plots his route to welterweight stardom.

Watch=>> Benn vs Van Heerden Boxing Live

Watch=>> Benn vs Van Heerden Boxing Live


Saturday’s bout is set to be his last test before Eddie Hearn plans to accelerate his development against the best that one of boxing’s most stacked classes has to offer, with Kell Brook now firmly in ‘The Destroyer’s’ sights.

Benn - son of former two-division world champion Nigel Benn - continued his march towards a world title in Liverpool in December, when he followed up contrasting wins over Samuel Vargas and Adrian Granados with a dominant knockout of veteran Chris Algieri.

The undefeated 25-year-old - now 20-0 as a professional with 13 KOs to his name - will also be confident of making another statement against Van Heerden on the same night as Errol Spence Jr and Yordenis Ugas clash in a huge welterweight unification contest in Texas.

An experienced southpaw from South Africa, Van Heerden turns 35 in June and has not fought since December 2020, when his IBO title meeting with the fearsome rising star Jaron Ennis was called off in the first round and ruled a no contest after he sustained a nasty cut from an accidental clash of heads, having been put under huge pressure from the opening bell.

‘The Heat’ had previously reeled off five successive wins since suffering the only stoppage of his career in an emphatic defeat by then-rising star Spence in Toronto in September 2015.

Van Heerden’s only other pro defeat came at the hands of Nikola Stevanovic in 2010, while he reigned as IBO welterweight world champion from 2011-13, defending against the likes of Matthew Hatton.

Saturday’s undercard features an eagerly-anticipated rematch between Chris Billam-Smith and Tommy McCarthy for the European cruiserweight title, while Alycia Baumgardner makes the first defence of her WBC and IBO super-featherweight titles won from Terri Harper against Edith Soledad Matthysse of Argentina.

Campbell Hatton - son of British boxing great Ricky Hatton - also competes in his seventh pro bout against another Argentine in Ezequiel Gregores.

Venue: Manchester Arena, Manchester Date: Saturday, 16 April

Coverage: Listen to live coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live from 22:00 BST; reaction on the BBC Sport website & app.

Conor Benn admits he "fears losing" as he prepares to begin his 2022 campaign in Manchester on Saturday night.

The welterweight, who defends his unblemished record against South African Chris van Heerden, plans to challenge for a world title this year.

Benn, 25, has become a big star in the last 18 months and admitted the prospect of a first defeat scares him.

"I actually fear losing. I don't know I'd handle it," Benn told BBC Sport.

"If you look at the start of my career, I was an excited puppy in every interview. I was a kid who thought he was a man.

"I'd knock a guy out and I'd be up with the fairies. And now it's like I'm more passionate. So much depends on me winning now, people see raw emotion."

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Benn, the son of boxing legend Nigel Benn, admitted his own success has surprised him.

"I still can't believe it. Never did I think I'd be where I am now," he said.

"I got a little bit scared thinking 'how am I so far ahead from [my pro debut] when it just feels like yesterday?'.

"I feel like I've lived a whole life already.

"In terms of my family, the life I've provided for them and for myself, being mortgage free, being top five in every [boxing] governing body, selling out arenas - all these things. You're always on the chase and the hunt."

LIvE@BOXING]] Benn vs Van Heerden Live Broadcast Free ON Boxing 16 April 2022
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