Conor Benn will return to the ring this weekend, fighting for the first time since his failed drug tests in 2022.
The Briton, 26, will box Rodolfo Orozco in Florida on Saturday, having obtained a Texas boxing licence. The fight will take place at 154lbs, on the undercard of Richardson Hitchins vs Jose Zepeda in Orlando.
Benn was due to fight compatriot Chris Eubank Jr in October 2022, but the bout collapsed after the revelation that Benn had failed two drug tests in the lead-up.
Benn was subsequently stripped of his licence by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) and charged by UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), though the World Boxing Council cleared the unbeaten welterweight of any intentional wrongdoing. Later, the National Anti-Doping Panel lifted a provisional suspension on Benn, though the BBBofC and Ukad have appealed that move.
Orozco, 24, will bring a professional record of 32-3-3 into the bout with Benn, having secured 24 of his wins via knockout. The Mexican has never been stopped. Meanwhile, Benn’s record stands at 21-0 (14 KOs).
“I am undefeated in the ring, and in spirit,” Benn said in a Matchroom press release. “A return on Saturday is a step closer to redemption. After that, I’m putting the 147-160lbs divisions on notice. You are looking at a determined man with a deep desire to beat them all.
“Warm-ups, I don’t treat them as warm-ups,” he added on Instagram. “I don’t go: ‘Oh, this is going to be an easy fight.’ They turn out to be your hardest ones, because of the mindset [but] I treat every fight as if it’s my world-title fight.”
Meanwhile, Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn said: “Conor Benn is back, and I’m looking forward to seeing him pick up where he left off. He’s ready to go straight in for a big fight now, but his trainer Tony Sims will be pleased to get him back sooner against a game opponent in Rodolfo Orozco.
“Conor is looking unbelievable in the gym, and I cannot wait to see him back in the ring where he belongs.”