CONOR BENN completed his boxing education with a sensational KO of South African southpaw Chris van Heerden and must now face a massive summer test.
Just four months after demolishing Chris Algieri with a ruthless one-two combination, he used the same textbook attack to obliterate his 34-year-old opponent.
Conor Benn put on a clinic in demolishing Chris van Heerden
Conor Benn destroyed his opponent inside two rounds in Manchester
In front of a Manchester Arena crowd he drove a rocket of a right hand into the first leftie he has ever faced – after a range-finding jab – and bullied him down to the deck for a count he could not beat.
Benn crouched down low and leapt into attacks off his hulking thighs, the first was a success but he was tagged with a right hook when the next was too predictable.
Leftie veteran Van Heerden was expected to be awkward and frustrating but instead he seemed happy to stand and trade power shots which he had little chance of surviving all night.
Benn had the Manchester crowd roaring “Conor, Conor” confirming he has stepped well out of his father’s shadow.
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Then, before the second round really got going, another ruthless one-two scrambled van Heerden’s senses and he was out on his feet before a couple of wild haymakers bundled him to the canvas to be counted out.
With five impressive wins over a range of respected veterans now on his record, trainer Tony Sims’ star student is now too big for anything less than a world title shot or domestic PPV showdown next.
If the four major world titles are tied up, former world champion and Bolton icon Amir Khan, 35 is waiting in the wings for Benn to wave the chequebook at him for one final pension instalment.
One thing is for sure, the once raw and vulnerable gimmick is now a 21-0 contender – thanks to the hard work of his under-rated Essex mentor – and his impressive profile and record now demand an opponent to match.
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If Khan is too expensive – and Kell Brook is tied up with a catchweight Chris Eubank Jr bout – then European champ David Avanesyan must be considered.
There is no more studying or revising for A-star Benn to do before he tries to top his weight class.
Benn said: “People thought a southpaw might be a problem but I will beat anyone in front of me.
“I keep silencing critics, I will beat southpaws, boxers and punchers.
“I will have Brook or Khan but I don’t think they fancy it. So I will push on for world titles.
“I respect Amir, he was the best of his time and I respect him. The fight would be idols to rivals.
Khan jumped in the ring and fans booed when he refused to commit to a Benn clash, he said: “I am just here to enjoy the boxing, I am a fan. I am here to support him.
“At the moment to spend time to my family but who knows.
“If I comeback then we can see where we go from there.
“He is a young and hungry lion.”