NXTGEN: Conor Benn admits to York Hall nerves as he ticks box at Bethnal Green venue
Conor Benn hopes his nerves will bring the best out of him when he makes his debut at the “jungle” known as York Hall.
The son of legendary two-weight world champion Nigel, takes on Kane Baker in the NXTGEN card, on Friday night, live on skysports.com, Facebook and Sky Sports Action.
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Benn is making his eighth professional appearance and even though he has boxed at the O2 Arena three times – including his debut – and the MEN in Manchester, the 20-year-old is expecting a unique occasion.
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My dad used to fight there, it is the home of British boxing and for me to fight there, is going to be something to tick off. I just want to fight at the York Hall and feel the atmosphere.
“I haven’t fought at York Hall yet and I think that is something I have to do,” he told Sky Sports.
“I get more nervous at the thought of me fighting at the York Hall, than walking into the MEN Arena or the O2 Arena. With those sort of arenas, you can get lost in the atmosphere but come York Hall, the atmosphere is going to be right there. You are going to feel it because I’ve seen plenty of fighters there and it’s like a jungle.
“My dad used to fight there, it is the home of British boxing and for me to fight there, is going to be something to tick off. I just want to fight at the York Hall and feel the atmosphere.
Watch Conor Benn’s first ring walk as a professional boxer at the O2.
“When I walked out at the O2 I was like ‘what is going on, how did I end up here? Me as a 19-year-old?’.
“But you just get lost in the atmosphere but when it comes to York Hall that is there, I know what I am doing and I assume the buzz is different.”
Benn insists he is not boxing at the Bethnal Green venue to follow in his famous father’s footsteps, but does admit that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.
Conor Benn admits he has the same spite in him as father Nigel.
Nigel Benn boxed there three times during his explosive career and the 20-year-old, who was raised in Australia, not only hopes to gain the same support outside the ring and certainly carries the same viciousness into it.
“It’s a bit like father like son I suppose, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” he said.
“The people that loved my dad, from the older to the younger generation, are going to love the way I fight and love my style, the way I come across.
NxyGen at York Hall on Sepember 1
“He was way more ruthless. I am a lot more respectful, he was just a savage. When I say I am a savage, I am the baby savage.
“He was just raw. Raw, sheer aggression, driven by spite and all the pain he went through when he was a kid.
Nigel Benn – Feb 1995 after Gerald McCllen fight
“And the wars he went through, something in him came out.
“I haven’t been raised that way, where I haven’t really had to worry about anything. I’ve been raised in beautiful weather, around churches and there are those differences.
“But at the end of the day I think the spite is still in me, because I think that is something you are just born with.”