Rising British boxing star Conor Benn (20-0) takes up a different challenge in his career when he faces only his second southpaw (amateur or pro) and first of any decent note. ‘The Destroyer’ meets South Africa’s Chris Van Heerden LIVE this Saturday, April 16 at the AO Arena in Manchester. Conor Benn vs Chris Van Heerden will be Exclusively on DAZN in the UK, the USA and 190 countries/territories.
Conor Benn received a big boost in his career when he put on a masterclass performance against Germany’s Sebastian Formella behind closed doors in November 2020 and has been able to carry that momentum into 2021 which included two more headline spots and fighting on a massive card in Leeds. Benn’s viewership numbers have continued to rise and over 7,000 packed the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool to see him dispatch Chris Algieri.
Conor Benn vs Chris Van Heerden Preview
Benn has been subject to some criticism for fighting undersized opponents. Van Heerden (28-2), nickname ‘The Heat’, is easily the biggest opponent of note Benn has faced with only one career defeat at 147-pounds against Errol Spence.
Van Heerden’s career-best win is a 12-round unanimous decision win against Britain’s Matthew Hatton back in 2013 to retain his IBO Welterweight World Title. He hasn’t really had a notable win since and looked less than promising in his last outing against Jaron Ennis in December 2020 before the fight was declared a No Decision making the criticism for the pick of opponent valid.
Van Heerden’s two career defeats come at the hands of Nikola Stevanovic via SD and current unified welterweight champion Errol Spence via an 8th-round TKO. The goal for Benn in this fight should be to have some rounds in the bank against a bigger, southpaw opponent, but eventually, make a statement with his devastating punching power and knock out the South African inside the first half.
The Keys to victory for Conor Benn are timing and slipping the busy jab of Van Heerden and whipping that left hook into the body, closing the distance with his own lead hand and prolific head movement and setting up the devastating right hand he possesses that knocked out Algieri. Benn also has a good left hook which could come into play if Benn can successfully bring the lead hand down of Van Heerden perhaps through a body jab.
There is no doubt that should Benn get past Van Heerden, he must take a significant step up in his next fight. A fight with Maurice Hooker would be just that and there was an agreement in place for that on April 16 before Hooker sustained an injury. Other possible opponents are Kell Brook (unlikely due to financial demands and Eubank fight in the making), Alexis Rocha (Who also fights on the DAZN Platform) and Mikey Garcia.
Undercard: Main Card
On Co-Main Event, Bournemouth’s Chris Billam-Smith (14-1) defends his European Cruiserweight Championship against Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy (18-3) in a rematch of their 2021 Split-Decision Fight Camp thriller. CBS is ranked top 5 in the world with 3 governing bodies and is closing in on a title shot, he must win here to keep his world title ambitions alive.
On 10 days’ notice, Alycia Baumgardner is a very late addition to this card. She will defend her WBC and IBO Super Featherweight titles she won off Terri Harper last November in Sheffield. Baumgardner’s first defence will be against former unified featherweight champion Edith Soledad Matthysse who holds wins over quality opponents Daniela Bermudez and Jelena Mrdjenovich. Matthysse has never been stopped before and is a good opponent on short notice, especially as she was preparing for another fight already.
Big Ticket seller, Little Leaver’s Jack Cullen (20-3-1) returns to the ring after his European Title defeat in December of last year. Cullen faces 12-3-1 Slovakian Vladimir Belujsky over 10 rounds. Apparently, they were trying to make fights with Marcus Morrison and other higher-ranked European fighters, but with those not coming off they’ve gone with a softer fight. Belujsky did go 12 rounds last time out.
Campbell Hatton (6-0) takes on 3-9 Argentina’s Ezequiel Gregores – a late replacement from 11-9 Lee Glover. The Mancunian is coming off back to back stoppage victories after a controversial points win in September 2021 and boxes in his home city for the first time as a professional.
Undercard: Preliminary Action
On ‘Before The Bell’, Heavy-hitting Cruiserweight Jordan Thompson (12-0) steps up the competition when he faces Argentina’s Mariano Angel Gudino (14-5) over 8 rounds. Gudino extended WBO Cruiserweight Champion Lawrence Okolie 7 rounds in July 2019. Thompson has a lot of early knockouts to his name, and is in need of some competitive rounds.
Elsewhere on the card, Light Heavyweight prospect Thomas Whittaker Hart (6-0) meets Ben Ridings (5-1) over 8 rounds, JJ Metcalf has a ‘run out’ before facing Kerman Lejarrage in Bilbao next month and 11-0 Luke Evans opens the night with journeyman Miguel Cesario Antin (19-10) in the opposite corner.
Conor Benn vs Chris Van Heerden: Running Order, TV Channel, Location, Ringwalk Time
Conor Benn vs Chris Van Heerden will take place Saturday, April 16 at the AO Arena, Manchester, Live on DAZN (7.99/Month Sports Streaming Subscription). Main Card will Get Under Way at 7 pm on DAZN, Preliminary Action ‘Before The Bell’ from 5:45 pm on the DAZN YouTube Channel. Main Event Ringwalks are expected no earlier than 10 pm BST.
BTB Running Order:
Whittaker Hart vs Ridings
Thompson vs Gudino
Main Card Running Order:
Hatton vs Gregores
CBS vs McCarthy
Benn Van Heerden
Also Read: Who Should Conor Benn Face Next?