Last December in Liverpool, rising welterweight star Conor Benn picked up one of his biggest career wins when he brutally knocked out former WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri with a single punch.
It the first time where Algieri – who went the distance with fighters like Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Ruslan Provodnikov – suffered a defeat in such devastating fashion.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Benn had tested positive for the banned substance clomifene – as part of VADA’s drug testing protocol for the scheduled catch-weight fight with domestic rival Chris Eubank Jr.
The British Boxing Board of Control would prohibit the fight from taking place – and the event, scheduled for Saturday night, was ultimately canceled on Thursday.
Since the news broke of the adverse test result, a few of Benn’s opponents have now questioned their devastating defeats to the young boxer.
Algieri has since revealed, that prior to his fight with Benn he had heard “rumors” that the unbeaten Brit was “not a clean fighter.”
“Initial thoughts? Not surprised, not surprised one bit,” Algieri told Jomboy Boxing. “I had heard around the time when I was fighting him that he was not a clean fighter and I like to give fighters the benefit of the doubt.
“This is about competition. I don’t want to take away from anyone who steps into that squared circle, it’s the most dangerous thing you can ever do. I respect every fighter who steps into the ring. I do not respect cheaters. For me to hear this, it hits hard, it hits home. Again, not surprised. Hearing this was not anything that shocked me. It shocked me because he got caught, it didn’t shock me because it’s a reality.
“I’ve beaten unclean fighters before. I’d beaten guys who were cheating before, and I’ve always been willing to do it again. It didn’t matter to me at the time because I’m in the mindset that I’m going to fight soon and I’m preparing to fight that man. It is what it is but in hindsight it isn’t the smartest thing because when you’re preparing for a fight your mind is kind of preoccupied.
“When I fought in Liverpool I was astonished how little official oversight there was fight week and in the locker room. It was scary honestly. No one followed me to piss or watched my hands being wrapped. Def gave me the impression it was very easy to cheat Certainly not the oversight I am used to fighting over in the States. Especially in New York where the commission is top notch.”