Boxing legend Nigel Benn joined his son Conor on Piers Morgan Uncensored to talk about the toll drugs accusations have taken on the family.
The middleweight and super middleweight champ came out fighting for his beleaguered son following his two positive drugs tests. And he slammed the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC), accusing them of a not treating the 26-year-old fairly.
Nigel, who joined his son on the show from his home in Australia, also revealed he was 100% certain of his son’s innocence otherwise he would “hang him out to dry” as he battles to clear his name.
Speaking to TalkTV host Piers Morgan, in an exclusive due to air tonight at 8pm, he confessed: “Yes, I was in the same position as my son. I was really struggling as well. I don’t really drink but I was drinking half a bottle of red wine a night. I’m on medication. And we were both in a dark place.
“To me it looks like this is a witch hunt. We’re going back to the 1800s. ‘She is a witch, she is a witch, burn her’ and everyone’s, ‘Yeah burn her – hold on a minute, that is my son.
“If I ever thought my son was guilty of anything I would say, ‘Son I love you, but you know what you have got to deal with this’. I’d hang him out to dry and but I am actually in this training camp with him I was training with him.”
On the strain the family had been under, he added: “I was with Conor for five months. I was not here [in Australia], I was in England while he was going through this period, I was there with him… then my mum died so I had so much pressure on me, I was just a mess inside.
“I was trying to be strong but it was like he was trying to deal with his issue and I was trying to deal with mine and we struggled. We both got through it together.”
The fighter, who tore up his own boxing licence in the 80s after falling out with the sport’s authorities, went on to say: “I feel they’re dealing with Conor, and not the other fighters is the same way they dealt with me… I don’t know if they’re hold anything against me and using it against my son. “
The broadcaster also queried why the family have not released the 270-page dossier, which they say proves Conor’s innocence. While Conor said he didn’t want anything to do with the board and he was heeding advice from his lawyers, his dad revealed he agreed with Piers they should make it public.
He said: “I do agree with you. I do not know what is the legal side of it. But me personally, I know for a fact he is an innocent man.”
During the emotional interview, Conor was close to tears as he detailed his own struggle in the wake of the positive tests.
He revealed he was left feeling suicidal and that he suffered panic attacks and night terrors as he battled to deal with the fallout. He said: “It’s been brutal… I didn’t think I was going to make it through this period. I didn’t think, I didn’t think I was going to make it through. I mean, being shamed for something I ain’t even done. You know, it’s hard because it was like, I feel like I was on death row for something I ain’t even done.”
The fighter also vowed to carry on fighting and said he was set to sue for his loss of earnings.
On what his future holds, he added: “Just to get back fighting. Back to Eubank Jr I can have him next. I do not need a warm-up. I’ll have him next at whatever weight.”
Asked if he was in a fit state to get straight back into the ring, he explained: “Of course, I’m always willing to fight. The fighting is the easy part. This has been the hardest fight I’ve ever had to face.”
Watch Piers Morgan Uncensored weekdays on TalkTV at 8pm. Available on Sky 522, Sky Glass 508, Virgin Media 606, Freeview 237 and Freesat 217 as well as on DAB, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Samsung TV Plus, YouTube, the Talk.TV website and TalkTV iOS and Android apps.
TalkTV launched in April 2022 as a bold new voice in news, current affairs, debate and opinion. Presenters include Piers Morgan, Jeremy Kyle, Vanessa Feltz, Sharon Osbourne, Tom Newton Dunn and Julia Hartley Brewer. TalkTV is available on Sky Channel 522, Sky Glass Channel 508, Virgin Media Channel 606, Freeview Channel 237 and Freesat Channel 217 as well as on DAB+, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Samsung TV Plus, YouTube, the Talk.TV website and TalkTV iOS and Android apps.