Crolla on Benn’s failed drug test: “It’s a massive black eye for boxing”Betfred’s Lightweight Boxing Show have been speaking to former WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla regarding Conor Benn’s failed drug test.
Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn were all set to meet under the lights at The O2 Arena in Greenwich last Saturday night until 26-year-old Benn returned a test with adverse findings, which caused the BBBofC to prohibit the fight with immediate effect. For an entire week, Matchroom Boxing tried their best efforts to continue with the event, despite the failed test, but was eventually forced to postpone the event just two days before fight night.
The 'Million Dollar' man, who won English, British, Commonwealth and World titles during his 13-year, 45-fight professional career, was brutally honest on the sensitive subject and how doping in sports can never fully be eradicated, at least not in the foreseeable future, he said, “The sport being clean is wishful thinking. It’s not nice to say but it’s being honest. People are going to be looking for an edge to enable themselves to cheat and give themselves an unfair advantage. This isn’t just boxing, this is all sports.”
However, cheating in other sports has very different consequences. If a sprinter takes PEDs, they simply end up running faster than their competitors to win their race, but in combat sports, it can be a matter of life and death.
Crolla agreed with this, “The big difference between other sports and boxing though, is that in other sports, you can’t cause physical damage to someone else. That’s why I’m so strong that within boxing, and other combat sports, tougher sentences have to be put in place.”
The former world champ continued, “It would be great if all fighters, at all levels, can be tested all year round but realistically that’s not going to happen. What happened last week was such a shame for boxing. The fight was getting promoted on Good Morning Britain and everybody was talking about it, but then it was getting spoken about for all the wrong reasons. It was a bad week.
“Conor Benn has every right to clear his name but at the moment it doesn’t look good at all. It doesn’t look good for him considering what’s been found in his system and the reasons why it would be in his system. It’s a massive black eye for boxing but hopefully Claressa Shields versus Savannah Marshall this weekend, the big show in London, can put the sport in a good light.”
According to the 35-year-old Mancunian, the issue of doping has and will always be around, but he gave his insight into how best to tackle it, “Performance enhancing drugs will always be a problem in boxing. All we can hope is that all the different testers, committees and boards can make it more difficult for boxers to take performance enhancing drugs and get away with it.”