Eddie Hearn predicts Conor Benn will be denied Amir Khan or Kell Brook fight

Eddie Hearn

Eddie Hearn is Conor Benn and Katie Taylor's promoter and talks to BBC Sport about their must-win fights this weekend in Liverpool - with huge bouts on the horizon for both boxers.

Benn fights American Chris Algieri and Taylor defends her undisputed lightweight titles against mandatory challenger Firuza Sharipova. You can listen to the Benn and Taylor fight live on BBC Radio 5 Live at 21:30 BST on Saturday, 11 December.

This Saturday sees a huge test for one of Britain's most exciting young stars, Conor Benn, as he takes on former world champion Chris Algieri. Conor has become a sensation in the last 18 months with impressive victories over the likes of Sebastian Formella, Samuel Vargas and Adrian Granados. But on Saturday he takes a big step up against the experienced and clever New Yorker.

Algieri beat Ruslan Provodnikov to win the light welterweight championship and went on to have a life and death fight with Amir Khan and a points decision loss to Manny Pacquiao. He has faced competition far more experienced and elite than Conor. The American made this trip with his team not for the financial gain, but for the opportunity to box in the UK and the true belief that the will be too savvy for the young, aggressive Londoner as he continues his march to the welterweight world title.

It really is a classic match up of youth versus experience. It's the ultimate crossroads fight. Conor just needs to be patient in there, not get overwhelmed by the occasion and deliver for himself and for British fight fans. There's already been calls for him to fight for the world title in 2022. I believe he will get there, but we need to take the right steps at the right time, because I truly believe this young man is a diamond. Since he's come to the UK from Australia, his dad Nigel has set him free. He put his trust in Tony Sims and what we saw initially was a raw novice with the Benn gene. The hard work and dedication that Conor's put in with his coach in the gym has been admirable - and together they have moulded him into one of the most exciting fighters in Britain.

If Conor's successful on Saturday, there's talk of him potentially fighting the winner of Khan versus Kell Brook. To be honest I tried so hard to make the Benn v Khan fight, but I don't think either of those guys will continue in the sport after their fight next year. I look instead at a potential fight with Adrien Broner. It would be amazing to bring 'The Problem' to the UK in what would be a huge arena fight. We've seen recently though the danger of overlooking opponents and Conor must be completely focused on the test of Algieri.

It's always difficult to follow in a successful father's footsteps and we have seen so many fighters try to do so and fail. Nigel will be in attendance this weekend for the first time in a long time and it's admirable to see the freedom he gives his son to let him make his own path in the sport of boxing. I know Nigel is so proud, we all are, at the work Conor has put in. Nigel will be the proudest man in the arena on Saturday. especially if Conor gets the win he craves.

Taylor is women's boxing

Eddie Hearn stands between Katie Taylor and Firuza Sharipova
Katie Taylor has a mega fight with Amanda Serrano on the horizon in 2022

Katie has a potential banana skin as she takes on her mandatory challenger Firuza in what is expected to be a tough night for the iconic Irish star. Sharipova is somewhat of an unknown quantity. Fourteen wins on her record, No.1 ranked in the world and comes with a huge team from Kazakhstan and a lot of government support. She is the first Kazakhstan fighter to fight for the undisputed championship and they look as though they are here for strictly business. I can't wait to see Katie fight in Liverpool. It's always a treat to see her fight live.

We keep talking about the rise of women's boxing, Katie is the pure reason for that at amateur and professional level. She's the reason female boxing is an Olympic sport and she's the reason that women's boxing in the professional code continues to rise. We've been speaking closely to Jake Paul's promotional company to make the Amanda Serrano fight happen for April at Madison Square Garden.

I'm extremely confident that if Katie comes through her fight, and if Amanda does the same in her next outing, that mega fight will finally happen. It's the biggest fight of all time in women's boxing history and will be the pinnacle of what has been an incredible career for Katie. It's all eyes on Saturday night. This is a dangerous fight especially with so much on the horizon. But I'm sure Katie, after her extensive preparation, will shine bright under the lights in Liverpool.

We've got just two more weekends to go to cap what has been an incredible run of fights. America's latest superstar Devin Haney followed up George Kambosos Jr's epic win when he defended his WBC lightweight title against JoJo Diaz.

The lightweight division is absolutely flying. So many young stars shining brightly. Kambosos Jr, Ryan Garcia, Haney and Gervonta Davis - who came through a rugged test against Isaac Cruz. We really have an opportunity here to make a golden era of fights. I know these young men have a long way to go, but there is no reason why that quartet can't fight each other multiple times in a mixture of fights over the next two years. It would create not only an unbelievable financial legacy, but more importantly a new legacy for the division and the fighters.

We've taken a strong foothold in the American market. These last two weeks have been huge for us with a growing profile and viewing figures. We can't wait to attack America in 2022.

Fury v Usyk 'virtually impossible' now

Oleksandr Usyk dodges a punch from Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua is unlikely to step aside so Tyson Fury can fight Oleksandr Usyk

There's been lots of talk about Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte. Rumours of a step aside offer for Joshua are exaggerated. His focus has always been on rematching Usyk. If there was a conversation to be had we'd have it, but the announcement from the WBC makes that virtually impossible. Dillian is now Fury's mandatory, it's been a long time coming. We await official confirmation of the split for that fight, but it's almost nailed on we will see Fury v Whyte in the Spring of 2022.

It's a great fight between two British heavyweights for the WBC and Ring magazine title. I believe Dillian has a great chance of pulling off a shock. For AJ, the work continues behind the scenes. I know he's completely focused on the task ahead. Don't forget to tune in for a packed card in Liverpool and then it's on to the curtain-closer in Manchester between Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora next week.

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