CONOR BENN says having his loved ones in and around the gym will not soften him up for Chris Algieri tonight.
The 25-year-old welterweight meets the American in Liverpool following another gruelling camp at Tony Sims’ old-school Romford gym.
But the son of ring legend Nigel has allowed himself regular visits from baby son Eli and wife Victoria, which he reckons make him an even more dangerous threat to the New Yorker, 37.
Plenty of fighters like their training camps away from home comforts and distractions to harden themselves.
But Benn, whose parents and siblings are all based in Australia, prefers to have his immediate family close by.
He told SunSport: “I have brought my family into the gym because that is what makes me feel at home.
“It is warming having my family here because before it was always about my family being in Australia while I was living and training and fighting on my own over here. So now it’s nice having my family here, as close around me as possible, in the gym or doing media days.
“My family being in the gym or around me is not a distraction, it is the ultimate motivation — they are why I do what I do.”
Because of the recent Covid travel restrictions Benn went almost a year without seeing his 57-year-old dad but the former two-weight world champ has finally made it over to meet his grandson.
The Dark Destroyer has also been on a speaking tour with eccentric old foe Chris Eubank Sr and Conor has enjoyed watching his shrewd tactics on stage.
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He said: “Dad isn’t surprised by how hard I train, I have always been a go-getter, a dreamer, an achiever.
“I don’t train harder just because he is around, I feel I prefer his approval on life decisions more than boxing.
“Boxing is not the basis of our relationship, we don’t need to talk about it, he’s dad and grandad. The tour went well. My dad lets Eubank get on with his act and he just sits there, gives the one-word responses, and takes his cheque. They are very funny characters together.”
Last time out in September, Benn was frustrated by Adrian Granados’ negative tactics and reluctance to engage as he made it 19-0.
At one point he ordered his American opponent to stand in the centre of the ring and give the fans the slugfest they craved.
He said: “It’s so boring when my opponents say I haven’t been tested. Just because I don’t have a textbook style, I do look a little vulnerable, I do take chances.
“I will always throw, if I miss I miss, I am not sitting back and coasting to points decisions. I am going in to hit my opponent.
“Algieri can think whatever he likes, he has been in with the best so he deserves respect but what he thinks makes no difference to me, it just gets a little annoying.
“If he doesn’t believe I belong at this level, he is in for the shock of his life.”