Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Conor Benn impresses by outfighting and outboxing Sebastian Formella for a unanimous decision win
Conor Benn, the son of legendary Nigel Benn, produces best-ever performance by showing poise and power to dispatch Sebastian Formella; Anthony Joshua fights Kubrat Pulev on December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office, in world heavyweight title fight
Last Updated: 22/11/20 9:39am
Conor Benn battered Sebastian Formella to take a unanimous decision victory after his best-ever performance on Saturday night at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
The son of legend Nigel Benn controlled the 10-round welterweight fight with spiteful punches and impressive know-how.
Formella had previously only ever lost by going the distance with two-time world champion Shawn Porter so Benn, by staying undefeated in a one-sided battle, dramatically elevates his stock as one of British boxing's most exciting talents.
Benn's sharp and powerful punching was a problem for Formella from the earliest exchanges - inside the opener, he landed stiffly to the body and thudded home jabs.
Benn landed a left hook and a straight right and, by the end of the second round, Formella already looked ruffled.
Up close, Benn roughed up Formella at every opportunity but, even when they boxed at range, he landed the more meaningful shots.
Formella clearly felt a hard right hand towards the end of the fourth before walking back to his corner solemnly.
At the five-round half-way mark, this was already the most skilled and accomplished performance of Benn's 17-fight career - he displayed a greater variety than ever before, able to opt in and out of the brawling style that has made him a fan-favourite.
Formella gritted his teeth and had a better sixth and seventh round but Benn was never in serious danger.
Formella's gameness was met by superior power from Benn who forced his rival to backpedal under fire in the eighth.
"You've got him now," Benn was told by his trainer Tony Sims with two rounds left.
Two good uppercuts from Benn in the ninth snapped Formella's head back, then a right hand wobbled his legs.
Benn was forced to go the 10-round distance for only the second time but he took scores of 100-91, 99-91, 99-92 from the judges.
He improved his undefeated record to 17-0 by retaining his WBA continental welterweight title and could now see his No 15 ranking rise.
It had been an occasionally emotional week for Benn who had spoken about the sacrifices made to chase his dream but, with Kell Brook and Amir Khan's time at the top fading and with fellow unbeaten contender Josh Kelly lurking, he looks well-placed to have an intriguing future in the 147lbs division.
"The only fight I'm interested in? Josh Kelly," said Benn afterwards.
Kelly responded on social media: "2021 there should be a big domestic [fight] for the European title."