Nigel Benn bares all to explain reason for ring return

Nigel Benn bares all to explain reason for ring return

Published On Tuesday, October 1, 2019By Tim Rickson
Related Tags: Nigel Benn, Benn Vs Bika

Nigel Benn explains reason for return

Aged 55, 23-years after his last professional boxing contest, two-weight world champion and British boxing legend Nigel Benn is set to come out of retirement for one last fight against former super-middleweight world champ Sakio Bika in Birmingham on November 23.

Cameroonian-Australian Bika was a WBC super-middleweight title from 2013 to 2014; Benn was also a WBC super-middleweight titlist, 17 years prior, from 1992 to 1996.

The fight will be licensed by BIBA after the official authority BBBofC refused to sanction the contest.

In an interview with iFL TV, Nigel 'The Dark Destroyer' Benn tried to put into words the reason for his comeback, "I think all through my career I kind of cheated myself and I kind of lied. What I mean by that is doing spliffs, doing little thrillers, I started smoking at the age of eight, the death of my brother changed my life. Every time you talk about what I've acheived, everything's attached to a lot of bad things I done and, suffering from depression, I don't think I was at my best. But now, watching Conor train, there's just like something in me. I just feel now, I've stopped smoking and doing all them bad stuff 10 years ago, it's like a new lease of life, I just want one more fight.

"I think people don't understand how I feel, not fighting for nothing, not money, just to scratch the itch I have.

"They think I'm this old man, I should be out gardening. Once I've done this... Do you know what? After the Steve Collins fight, I came out, I thought 'yeah, I'm retired', what you've got to understand is when I was fighting Steve Collins, Conor was born, India was born and Harley was born, so we had all this conflict, my wife was ready to leave me so I had all this going on, I can't think about fighting when my wife is ready to walk out on me, that's my life, so I had all that to deal with, I werent interested in fighting but now, 20 years later, yeah I'm a happy man."

Benn, originally from East London, now resides in Sydney, Australia with his wife in a 10-bedroom mansion.

"My wife knows I've got to do this, she don't want me to do it, but she just knows I've got to get this out of my system. Once it's out of my system then I can spend the rest of my life with my wife and my kids, that's it in a nutshell, then I can really start doing things, I train every day, twice every day, I'm training all the time, so I miss a lot of my time because it's something I just got to get out."

Benn will be trained by Adam Watt and Johnny Nelson and admitted that his last competitive spar was when he was a world champion over 24 years ago.

"I never really sparred anyway, I've been sparring with Con [Conor Benn], but the difference is it's not about me going crash, bang, wallop, it's about me getting the distance, once I get my distance and I understand it, I'll stop, because I know when I get in the ring it'll be crash, bang, wallop; I know me, I know when I get in that ring I'll have it, I just know."

23-year-old son Conor is not sure he can go through the process of watching his dad fight and getting hit, as he wasn't born while his dad was an active professional fighter. Unbeaten in 15 professional fights himself, Conor 'The Destroyer' Benn said, "I've never seen him fight and I really don't want to. I think I'll be more nervous than him, imagine seeing my dad get hit? It's my dad, I wanna look after him.

"Obviously, who am I to say 'oh dad,' and hold him back from his dream and what he wants to do, it's like him holding me back from mine; he wants to go out there and he has every reason to do it for himself.

"The older I get I seem to see more of my dad in me."

Nigel Benn said of his 41-year-old opponent, "He's not much younger than me, I know Sakio, I've even watched him fighting when I was in Australia. I know how strong he is, but I'm coming straight through him, I know what I can do, I'm not worried whatsoever. He ain't fought nobody like me. I know me, I know when to put it on him. It's different when you fighting for something, this time I'm fighting for me, to get it out of my system."