Conor Benn ends 17-month layoff with decision win over Rodolfo Orozco in Florida
Whether people liked it or not, Conor Benn made his return to the ring after 17 months on Saturday night.
The celebrated contender made his ring return after 17 months out of the ring, outpointing the durable Rodolfo Orozco (32-4-3, 24 knockouts) over ten rounds at Caribe Royale in Orlando, Fla. Two judges had the fight a near shutout at 99-91 while the third had it 96-94, all for Benn (22-0, 14 knockouts).
Benn’s ring return was not without controversy after the son of British boxing legend Nigel Benn failed two VADA-administered drug tests for the performance enhancing drug clomifene prior to his scheduled bout against Chris Eubank Jr. last October, which was subsequently canceled.
Benn has maintained his innocence, and was licensed to fight in Florida after submitting a clean drug test to the commission. His suspension from the National Anti-Doping Panel in the United Kingdom was lifted in July, but the British Boxing Board of Control, which oversees professional boxing in the United Kingdom, is appealing that decision and insists Benn should not be fighting until the matter has been resolved, said Robert Smith, BBBofC General Secretary, to Daily Mail.
Benn, fighting as a junior middleweight for the first time in his career, got off to a quick start after the layoff, landing big right hands as the Mexican brawler came in. Orozco, who was fighting outside of his native Mexico for the first time, was cut on his right eyelid due to a headbutt in the second round but never backed off, as he even landed a right hand on Benn in the second which backed him off. The 24-year-old Orozco was hurt by a right hand and a left hook in the third round, and Benn continued to pour on the power punches, particularly with the uppercuts. Orozco weathered the storm and began to put power punches on Benn as he looked to recoup his stamina.
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Orozco continued to apply pressure in the fifth, landing overhand rights and making Benn move to keep Orozco off of him. Benn adjusted to boxing more and targeting the body in the sixth, realizing that Orozco wasn’t going to be blasted out of there with one punch. Orozco had a better round in the seventh, pushing Benn to the ropes near the end of the round and landing right hands and uppercuts.
Benn, having long settled to go the distance against Orozco, boxed to the finish line, landing body punches which slowed Orozco’s aggression just enough to cruise to the finish line.