Conor Benn revealed he used to idolise Amir Khan and would relish a showdown against his fellow Briton in the future but the young welterweight insists his sole focus is on beating Samuel Vargas in London on Saturday night.
The 24-year-old made a statement in November by extending his professional record to 17 wins from as many fights with a wide points win over Sebastian Formella, who had taken Shawn Porter the distance three months earlier.
Another stiff challenge awaits with Vargas (31-6-2, 14KOs) having shared the ring with some of the biggest names in the 147lb division including Khan, who had to rise from the canvas to outpoint the Colombian in September 2018.
While Benn is hopeful of bettering Khan’s result in the hope of luring the former WBA and IBF light-welterweight champion into the ring one day, the Essex fighter is wary of overlooking an opponent as dangerous as Vargas.
“I’d love to fight Amir Khan, of course I would,” Benn said. “He was my idol at one stage. He’s achieved everything I want to achieve in the sport. He’s one of the fighters I loved to watch.
“But I’ve got my hands full with Samuel Vargas. Everyone keeps talking about Khan, I’ve got my hands full this Saturday night. Providing I come through, which I believe I will with a great win, then we can have those talks.
“I set the bar in the Formella fight, people didn’t expect that of me, and this fight I plan on doing exactly the same. There’s no ceiling to my career, we’ll see how good I can be, I know how good I can be.
“I’m by far the most entertaining welterweight in Britain, in my opinion. Whether I’ve got to get up off the deck or knock someone out, whatever it is people love to see me fight. That’s because I’ve got dynamite in both hands.”
Benn scaled 10st 6lbs 12oz, two ounces heavier than Vargas, before trading barbs in Spanish with his rival at Friday’s weigh-in, with the intense staredown ending in a respectful handshake.
Benn, the son of former two-weight world champion Nigel, has recently become a father himself but he insists the experience will not change him as a fighter.
“As far as motivation goes – none. I’m already a motivated young man,” Benn said. “Anything I chose to do my son would have a blessed life anyway because I would have applied myself 100 per cent to whatever craft it was.
“I’ve achieved more than I could when I first started and I believe there’s a lot more left to achieve. But my son motivates me to be a better man.”
Savannah Marshall will make the first defence of her WBO middleweight title against Swedish late replacement Maria Lindberg, stepping in for Femke Hermans after one of the Belgian’s coaches tested positive for coronavirus.
Also on the undercard is a bout between Shannon Courtenay and Australia’s Ebanie Bridges for the vacant WBA world bantamweight crown.