Conor Benn has suffered a devastating blow after testing positive for COVID-19 at Fight Camp ahead of his welterweight war with Adrian Granados. The 24-year-old was ready to take another step towards a world title shot on his return to action following his first-round demolition of Samuel Vargas last November.
Benn was due to trade leather with the Mexican on Saturday night as Fight Camp returns to Matchroom HQ’s back garden in Brentwood, Essex.
However, the bout has now been cancelled following the positive result this morning.
The news is also a cruel blow for Eddie Hearn, who was set to stage Matchroom’s first official live show with American broadcaster DAZN since ending a 25-year partnership with Sky Sports earlier this year.
DAZN have secured the services of the likes of Maya Jama, Laura Woods and Mike Costello to deliver first-class coverage for subscribers for just £1.99 a month.
Yet this was not the start Matchroom were hoping for as they kick off their exciting new era after signed a five-year contract worth a reported £100million.
Nonetheless, Can Xu’s potential firefight with Nottingham’s Leigh Wood for the WBA regular featherweight belt will now headline the card.
Hearn has also stated that further testing will now be carried out inside the bubble to minimise any risk of spread.
Benn confirmed his positive test in a heartfelt statement to his fans on Instagram as he issued an emotional apology to his supporters and opponent.
It read: “Dear all of my supporters and fans that bought tickets to my fight, it breaks my heart to tell you unfortunately I won’t be competing this Saturday as I have tested positive for Covid-19.
“I have made sure during this camp that we have taken the correct precautions and abided by the highest health and safety measures to avoid this unfortunate circumstance but with the virus still being extremely active this is out of my control.
“I will be working with my management team, Matchroom Boxing and liaising with Granados to work towards a new date.
“It’s imperative that I get back to full health, isolate and stay safe during this period as I aim to be competing again in the very near future.
“I will keep you all updated as much as I can. Finally my sincerest apologies to everyone who worked hard to put this event together and Adrian who recently flew over to the UK to put on a good fight.. soon come.”