Conor Benn on ‘softie’ grandad Nigel as he prepares for Chris Algieri challenge

Conor Benn has revealed his dad has become a doting grandfather – but he is thankful for the tough love he got as a kid.

The son of the former world champion returns to the ring tonight against ex-title holder Chris Algieri in a welterweight bout at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena.

And his dad, Nigel, will be back ringside after missing his last three fights because he was in lockdown in Australia where he now resides.

But Benn has been more happy having his old man around to meet his own son Eli who was born earlier this year and was eight months old before he got to meet his granddad.

And he insists the Dark Destroyer has softened up.

“It was the first time he saw my son,” said Benn, 25.

“The first lockdown we were all together and he was here when my partner fell pregnant but he wasn’t here until he was eight months.

“He’s been a great granddad, and Eli loves him.

“My dad is an emotional guy like me, he’s probably more emotional than me and I’m an emotional guy.

“You say big softie, he’s probably been a big softie for eight years, just eight years!

“Before that he was a disciplinarian, he was a firm dad.

“He was straight to the point, zero compassion. That was with me. It was good.

“I didn’t understand why then but now I get it. If he was soft with me like he is with the younger kids I wouldn’t be the man I am now.

“I see how soft he is with my younger brother and sister and I go, ‘Mate, you joking? You are going to let him talk to you like that when if I ever even thought about speaking to you like that there would be no chance’.

“He’s funny, though. It has moulded me into the man I am today.”

Benn is unbeaten in 19 fights and his improvement in the last 18 months has silenced critics and got many excited about his prospects.

Algieri, 37, may be past his best but his three career defeats have come against Errol Spence Jnr, Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao so this should be a decent test for the Brit.

Over in Dubai, IBF flyweight champion Sunny Edwards will defend his belt against Jayson Mama.

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