Benn: van Heerden is a good fighter, but I’ll make him respect me

Conor Benn says he’ll earn Chris van Heerden’s respect | Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

Conor Benn expects to stay unbeaten when he faces Chris van Heerden on Saturday.

Benn (20-0, 13 KO) feels his ability will carry the day, and that the experience of South Africa’s van Heerden (28-2-1, 12 KO) won’t be an issue.

“Every fighter I fight now moving forward is going to be more experienced, but it means nothing to me,” said Benn. “Who they’ve fought and what they’ve done in their career doesn’t matter because they haven’t fought me. I know what I can do and I know what I’m capable of. I believe in my work ethic and I believe in my team. I believe in my mindset and I believe in my physical attributes. I believe in my power and I believe in my boxing ability. Bring me whoever, I’m confident in what I can do.”

He does have respect for his opponent, though, and plans to earn the respect of van Heerden.

“van Heerden is a good fighter, he’s a tricky fighter, he’s a tough fighter. He’s a come forward southpaw and a former [IBO titleholder]. He’s been in there with the best. First southpaw opponent; they’re definitely hard work, that’s for sure. You have to think a lot more. You have to demonstrate a lot more skill. You can’t just go in there with the same approach as you would with an orthodox fighter.

“He’s wanted this fight for a while. He told me he needed this fight for himself, needed it for closure. We’ve made the fight happen. Hopefully he comes prepared, which I believe he will. He said he doesn’t rate my boxing ability. If you don’t respect me then I’ll make you respect me. Chris van Heerden needs to be ready for a whole lot of firepower. He needs to be ready for someone who fights like he’s got everything to lose.”

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