Chris Algieri’s trainer Derik Santos insists his fighter will DROWN Conor Benn in their headline clash this weekend, claiming the welterweight is NOT the killer is father was and believing arrogance could lead to his downfall
- Chris Algieri and Conor Benn go head-to-head in Liverpool on Saturday night
- Benn is on the precipice of world level and could set up a mega-fight with a win
- Former champion Algieri believes he has the experience to upset the party
- His trainer, Derik Santos, says Benn is not the fighter his father, Nigel, was
- Sign up here to watch Saturday’s fight exclusively on DAZN
Chris Algieri’s trainer, Derik Santos, believes question marks still remain over Conor Benn’s credentials at world level and insists his fighter will drown the Briton in their headline clash this weekend.
Algieri, a former world champion, has shared the ring with the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Errol Spence Jr, and though falling short on each occasion, Santos insists the American has already proven his capabilities at the top level.
Benn heads into the clash on the back of a momentum-building run, having beaten Sebastian Formella, Samuel Vargas and Adrian Granados since November last year, with a potential mega-fight on the horizon should he emerge victorious on Saturday.
Santos warns Benn is now in for the toughest test of his career, however, believing the significantly less experienced 25-year-old may crumble under the pressure.
Trainer Derik Santos (left) says Chris Algieri (right) will prove a step too far for Conor Benn
Benn, 25, is looking to end a stunning 2021 in style before targeting a mega-fight next year
‘The biggest question about this fight is: does Conor Benn belong at this level? Chris Algieri has already proven his worth, he’s been a world champion,’ Santos told MyBettingSites.
‘He’s fought many people who were at the time in their career better and tougher than Conor Benn. This is by far Benn’s toughest fight.
‘When water gets in the boat, you’ll find out how people react. Will he sail along steady in the fight? Will he panic and start pushing too hard and ultimately be his own demise? Will he jump out of the boat and drown – we’ll find out.’
Benn has shown drastic improvement in recent months, looking particularly impressive in his one-round demolition of veteran Vargas at the Copper Box Arena back in April.
The welterweight was less ruthless in his most recent outing, a unanimous decision win over Granados in September, admitting his frustration after the fight as he was unable to land the decisive shot.
Santos has taken confidence from Benn’s performance, questioning just how much further the welterweight can develop.
Benn made a statement as he defeated Samuel Vargas in one brutal round in April this year
The welterweight was less ruthless as he defeated Adrian Granados on points in September
‘After his last fight there are questions about his growth,’ he said. ‘Can he go out there and look spectacular against the highest level fighters? That’s the biggest question.
‘He’s going to try and find out when he faces us, and we’re definitely going to give him a test.’
He added: ‘Chris is fighting because he can still fight. Not because he needs to fight. He’s fighting because he can still fight at a high level. And that’s why we’re going over to the UK. And that’s why we’re going to go over there and give the fans a good show.’
Benn has been placed under the spotlight ever since making his debut in 2016, with the boxing world scrutinising his every performance as comparisons are drawn with his father, Nigel, a former two-weightworld champion.
Santos says Benn isn’t – and won’t be – a fighter of the same calibre, insisting he would lose to those currently at the top of the welterweight division.
Santos insists Benn won’t reach the heights his father, Nigel, a two-weight world champion, did
‘His father Nigel Benn was a great fighter; very tough, gritty, one of those killers in the ring,’ he said. ‘His father was an awesome fighter.
‘With all due respect to Connor but he’s definitely not his father. In Conor’s fights up to now there’ve been a lot of question marks over his performance at times.
‘I think there’s been a lot of making him out to be maybe this phenom, or this killer, or this killer puncher that his father was, but he’s not. I don’t even think he believes that. I think he’s trying to convince himself of that.
‘As far as Conor living up to the achievements of his father, the short answer is: I don’t think so. I believe that if you could put a prime Nigel Benn in today’s boxing world he would still be a top contender, if not a champion.’
He continued: ‘The weight division that Conor is in, you have got to ask yourself, does he beat Errol Spence, (Terence) Crawford, or Shawn Porter? I don’t think he’d beat (Yordenis) Ugas.
‘If he fought Manny Pacquiao tomorrow, he will get beat. If you look at a lot of the top contenders at 147 – I don’t think he beats any of them. They would all be extremely difficult for him, so no, I don’t think he’ll be able to live up to his father’s resume side-by-side.’
Eddie Hearn (left) has promised Benn will target the top welterweights next year should he win
Benn will be ringside to watch Amir Khan and Kell Brook go head-to-head in February
Promoter Eddie Hearn has promised Benn will target the big names in the division should he win this weekend, while his fighter has already confirmed his desire to take on the winner of Amir Khan and Kell Brook, who go head-to-head in February.
There is a danger of overlooking his upcoming opponent, however, which Santos believes could be the cause of Benn’s downfall.
He said: ‘As far as Conor’s undoing, what is any fighters undoing? Sometimes it’s their own arrogance, sometimes it’s their own thought that they’re Invincible.
‘Conor has to look at himself in the mirror and ask himself can he really keep it together in the face of adversity?
‘Does he really think that he’s the greatest thing in the division? I’ve heard a lot of people, even from the UK, who are not exactly fond of his mannerisms. He can be his own undoing.’
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