Nigel Benn tips teenage son Conor to eclipse his own success in boxing

Last Updated: 01/02/13 8:06am

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Nigel Benn may be one of Britain's most successful ever boxers, but he believes his son Conor has the potential to be an even bigger star.

The former middleweight and super-middleweight world champion has been helping to train his teenage son and is hoping he will make an impact at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio before following in his father's footsteps and joining the professional ranks.

Benn won 42 of his 48 pro fights, but says Conor can become an even bigger star if he pushes himself to his limits over the next few years.

"He's 16 and has everything," Benn told Ringside. "We were sparring the other day at home, and he's got raw power and it's frightening, and he can take a good shot, too.

"He threw a shot, and it missed me, but I actually felt the wind. And I know if he'd have hit me, he'd have hurt me. If he just continues to dedicate himself to what he's doing, then wow.

"I want Conor to find his own image and be his own man and be better than me - and if he continues to dedicate himself, he can be better than me."
Nigel Benn

"I don't want him to follow in my footsteps thinking he can be me, I want him to find his own image and be his own man and be better than me - and if he continues to dedicate himself, he can be better than me.

"I don't mind him knocking people out, but I don't want him to do the things I did that were all wrong.

"He thinks it can all happen overnight but I want him turn pro about 22. I want him to go for the ABAs, Commonwealth (Games), the Olympics. I want all them first and then go from there.

"All I want is my son to be busy, fighting every five-six weeks. I don't want one every six months, which is what is happening in boxing these days.

"I've said I'm not going to do his training, but what I want him to do when he gets paid is invest his money in property and build a portfolio. That way when he retires he has something to fall back on."

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Benn battled the likes of Chris Eubank, Michael Watson and Steve Collins during his fighting days and feels the super-middleweight division was stronger in the 1980s and 1990s than it is today.

He admits he is a fan of Britain's current world champion, Carl Froch - whose only professional defeats have come against Andre Ward and forthcoming opponent Mikkel Kessler - and says it's a shame The Cobra was not around to fight the stars of the previous generation.

"I wish Carl Froch, who I would have loved to have fought, had the fighters that I had, but I still think he would be in the mix," Benn added.

"He's my type of fighter, because you don't have to go and look for him; he had problems against Jermain Taylor but he destroyed Lucian Bute, who was like a deer in the headlights and just froze.

"Carl had his opportunity with Ward, and with Kessler, and I still think he would come back and match them - but Ward would be a hard fight for him."

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