Formella vs Benn – Sky Sports, DAZN – Nov. 21

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21. November 2020 all-day America/New York Timezone
The SSE Arena, Wembley
The SSE Arena

Conor Benn’s WBA Continental Welterweight Title clash with former IBO Welterweight World Champion Sebastian Formella will headline on Saturday November 21 at The SSE Arena, Wembley, with all of the action shown live on Sky Sports and DAZN.


10 x 3 mins vacant English Bantamweight Title
LIAM DAVIES 8st 5lbs 12oz v SEAN CAIRNS 8st 5lbs 12oz
(Telford, England) (Liverpool, England)

followed by

6 x 3 mins Middleweight contest
BEN RIDINGS 11st 10lbs 12oz v JEZ SMITH 11st 11lbs 12oz
(Bury, England) (Harrow Weald, England)

followed by

8 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
ALEN BABIC 15st 3lbs 8oz v TOM LITTLE 16st 10lbs 12oz
(Zagreb, Croatia) (Hatfield, England)

followed by

10 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
FABIO WARDLEY 16st 6lbs 0oz v RICHARD LARTEY 18st 6lbs 1oz
(Ipswich, England) (Accra, Ghana)

followed by

10 x 3 mins WBA Continental Welterweight Title
CONOR BENN 10st 6lbs 12oz v SEBASTIAN FORMELLA 10st 6lbs 13oz
(Ilford, Essex) (Hamburg, Germany)

‘The Destroyer’ (16-0, 11 KOs) scored two big knockout wins in 2019, firstly obliterating Jussi Koivula with a brutal second-round stoppage in his first headline fight at York Hall in June, and then explosively knocking out Steve Jamoye in four rounds at The O2 in October.

Formella (22-1, 10 KOs) went on a 22-fight winning streak, picking up the IBO Welterweight crown against Roberto Arriaza in January earlier this year, before taking two-time World Champion Shawn Porter the distance in his first career defeat in August.

After two quick wins on the spin, unbeaten Croat Alen Babic (5-0, 5 KOs) looks to continue his red-hot run of form with another big knockout win, this time against Hatfield’s Tom Little (10-8, 3 KOs), who has been in with some huge punchers including Filip Hrgovic and Daniel Dubois.

“It’s been a busy period, but I don’t want to rest, I want to fight,” said Babic. “Tom’s a cool guy, he’s a warrior. We’ve exchanged messages on social media but that won’t hold me back, ‘The Savage’ is waiting to be released and score another KO.”

“Alen makes too many mistakes,” said Little. “I’ve boxed at a much higher level and it will show. “I’ll be too much for him, this is too early in his career. I’ve been training for a while now with this fight in the back of my mind, so I’m prepared. The so-called Savage won’t hear the final bell.”

Fresh from winning the English Heavyweight Title with a third-round stoppage of Simon Vallily at Fight Camp, Ipswich talent Fabio Wardley (9-0, 8 KOs) takes on Ghana’s Richard Lartey (14-3, 11 KOs) – a former opponent of Dubois and Nathan Gorman.

“Lartey’s a great opponent for me at this stage of my career,” said Wardley. “He’s a really strong and durable opponent that will definitely look to test me and take me in to the later rounds. You’ve seen in his previous fights that he’s not shy of a tear up so there may be moments in the fight when I’ll have to bite down on my gum shield and get stuck in, which I can’t wait for!”

Following the disappointment of his fight with Christopher Lovejoy falling through at the last moment, Heavyweight fan favourite Dave ‘White Rhino’ Allen (18-5-2, 15 KOs) returns to the ring looking to end the year on a high.

Also on the card, Leeds Featherweight prospect Hopey Price (3-0, 1 KO) returns after his win over Jonny Phillips on Fight Camp Week 2 and Donnington’s Liam Davies (7-0, 2 KOs) battles Liverpool’s Sean Cairns (7-2, 1 KO) for the English Bantamweight Title.

Adam Smith,  Sky Sports  Head of Boxing Development  said:  “Conor Benn is back, continuing his exciting journey next Saturday night, live on Sky Sports. Of course, we fondly remember his father Nigel, a former World Champion, and we’ve covered Conor’s career since the very start.

“He’s an explosive young talent, so get ready for more fireworks when Conor collides with Sebastian Formella. Britain’s Welterweight division is really heating up with Josh Kelly and Chris Kongo also waiting in the wings – and Benn will be hoping to seize his opportunity to impress on a big stage.

“There’s also a Heavyweight triple-header – Fabio Wardley can enhance his growing reputation against Richard Lartey, while Alen ‘The Savage’ Babic battles Tom Little, and Dave Allen also returns in a thriving top division. It should be another superb evening of action on Sky Sports.”

Conor Benn – Ilford, England – 16-0, 11 KOs – defending his WBA Continental Welterweight Title against Sebastian Formella:

“The novelty does wear off. I miss my family. On Saturday night I will take that frustration out on my opponent. I’ve worked too hard to get to where I am now to let it slip between my fingers.

“To many, I’m a role model. To the older generation, I will always be Nigel Benn’s son but the younger generation say to him: ‘Oh, you are Conor Benn’s dad!’

“There will be ups and downs. I have come through adversity. The sky is the limit. I will reach the end goal but I won’t put a time limit on it. I don’t know when. I don’t know what I’ll have to go through to get there.

“But I will get there because I’ve too hard. I plan to show that I am the business. My four-year apprenticeship is done, finished. I’m here to prove that I am a contender.

“He’s a tough opponent but that doesn’t bother me. People said Jussi Koivula would beat me but he got banged out. If you get hit by a right hand, left hook then it doesn’t matter who you are.

“I’ve got to win in good fashion. I’m good for 10 rounds or to get him out in the first couple. It’s not down to him. It doesn’t matter what he does. If he wants to move I’ll hunt him down. If he wants to have a tear-up? More fool him, I’ll soon make him regret that.

“He’s nice and polite – trying to be Andy Ruiz Jr – waving at me from across the room! It ain’t all good when we get in there. I know he thinks this is an easy fight. I’ve sacrificed too much for me to not perform.”

Sebastian Formella – Hamburg, Germany – 22-1, 10 KOs – challenging Conor Benn for the WBA Continental Welterweight Title:

“Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their hospitality. The staff have been very helpful and I feel completely at home. It’s very cool to stay here in the bubble.

“Conor Benn is a difficult fighter to face with good skills. It will be a good fight. I have trained very hard. Of course I will win the fight on Saturday, I won’t make it easy for him.

“I learnt to put up my hands and have a good defence in my last fight against Shawn Porter. Of course it is a short amount of time after the Shawn Porter fight, but it was enough to change things a little bit. It was a very good experience and I was happy to do this fight in America.

“Because I am higher in the rankings than him, I am the test for him. He is also a good fighter and I have seen many of his fights. He comes forward and has a good defence when he wants.

“It’s a good step up for the both of us because when I win the fight, there will be more good fights in the future for me. It could be a tactical fight or we could stand feet to feet and fight, hitting each other all of the time.”

Fabio Wardley – Ipswich, England – 9-0, 8 KOs – fighting Richard Lartey in a ten round Heavyweight contest:

“I’m always ready for the step-up. This is another fight on our progress of me moving forward, proving that the different tests you throw at me, the different types of opponent, whatever they may be, that I can overcome them.

“Obviously prove that I’m a real contender for the division, that I’m here to do some damage and make some waves.

“You know exactly what you’re going to get from him. He’s not coming there to roll over. He’s not coming there to just get some money and go home. He’s coming to take my head off.

“You’ve seen in his previous fights, he was more than happy to stand there and go toe to toe with Daniel and try and take his jaw and he’ll be doing the same with me.

“I’ve got to be switched on, I’ve got to be paying attention, and as long as I stick behind my game plan, I can always get them out of there.”

Richard Lartey – Accra, Ghana – 14-3, 11 KOs – fighting Fabio Wardley in a ten round Heavyweight contest:

“Thank you very much for this opportunity. I respect Matchroom for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to appear on this bill. Thank you to Wardley for accepting this contest.

“I have to respect anybody that I come into contact with in the ring. No party, no Lartey is coming on Saturday. We’re coming to do some wonderful work in the ring.

“I respect my opponent and the people that have brought me here to fight in London again. This is my third time being in London. I’ve got a lot of fans who I know will be watching. I thank them for what they are doing for me.

“I know definitely something massive and positive is going to come on Saturday night. I’m not here to joke, I’m here to prove my worth.”

Alen Babic – Zagreb, Croatia – 5-0, 5 KOs – fighting Tom Little in an eight round Heavyweight contest:

“Why does he talk like that? I said nothing but nice things so why do you take Hrgovic’s side? That’s a sell-out. You can’t be in ‘The Savage’ army anymore.

“There is a lot of disrespect. They always talk about Hrgovic. I don’t care about him – he has fought no-one. You are not a friend, you are a sell-out. Hrgovic said you are a bum but you take his side?

“You have done cross-fit for one month and you talk like you have the biggest arms. He talks like I am nothing. I have five fights, 10 rounds. Everybody beat you, brother!”

“‘The Savage’ is mad. I was his friend when he was as fat as a doughnut. Now he says he will finish me then say ‘Hrgovic is better’. Why does he say this?

“Everyone can keep doubting me. I’ve heard enough. I keep knocking everyone out in two rounds. I’ll knock him out in one round. One round is my plan. Everyone keeps questioning me.”

Tom Little – Hatfield, England – 10-8, 3 KOs – fighting Alen Babic in an eight round Heavyweight contest:

“I had an epiphany when I got home from Saudi Arabia. This runs deeper than just myself. For what I want to do, this is the first stop on the way. I’ve said a lot of cheap words but they were masking agents.

“I rate Babic highly. But this isn’t about how I rate him. If he can manage to get the job done, he is fighting [a better version of me] than Hrgovic, Dubois or Majidov fought.

“Me and this man have promised everyone a war. Blood and guts. We will go out and deliver. I’m not going to run. I’m a man of my word and I’ll meet him in the middle. I won’t give any ground.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if both of us have to climb off the canvas. There is not a cowardly bone in my body. I am there to fight, bleed and win.”

Ben Ridings – Bury, England – 3-0 – fighting Jez Smith in a six round Middleweight contest:

“I was ecstatic when I got the call to be honest because as you all know I was supposed to be appearing on the Ultimate Boxxer competition fighting Zak Chelli but that fell through because me and Kieran tested positive for coronavirus so we’ve been quarantining ever since. I was just at home with my family when we got the call for this fight. One minute it was on, one minute it was off.

“Everyone is looking at my old YouTube videos. I’ve not fought like that in nearly two years now. I’ve been sparring the best every week. I’ve been sparring Callum Smith every Wednesday. Obviously there’s other great fighters in that gym. I fight completely different. I can hold my own. It’s going to be exciting.

“I’m going to fight with everything that I’ve got. I’m just a local Bury lad. It’s a massive opportunity, look at all of these cameras! He’s a good fighter, I’m not taking that away from him. If he’s looking through me think it’s going to be an easy win for him then he needs to think different because I am game for the night. It’s the biggest stage that I could be on and I’m here.”

Jez Smith – Harrow Weald, England – 11-2-1, 5 KOs – fighting Ben Ridings in a six round Middleweight contest:

“Firstly I’d like to thank Eddie and Matchroom for having me on this show. I just stay ready all of the time. I’m always in good fights. On Saturday night Ben is getting smashed. It’s as simple as that. There’s levels to this game and he’s taking a step up too quickly. He’s getting dealt with on Saturday. I think my experience will be too much for him. He hasn’t been in with anybody. He’s only fought journeymen. I know he’s been out of the ring for a while. If he comes and has a scrap he gets knocked out. If he comes to box he gets smashes. Either way, on Saturday night it’s going to be a dominant performance from me and I’m going to deal with him. I probably start too fast sometimes. Six rounds definitively won’t be a problem for me.”

Liam Davies – Telford, England – 7-0, 2 KOs – fighting Sean Cairns for the vacant English Bantamweight Title:

“I just want to start off by saying thank you to Eddie Hearn, Matchroom, BCB and Errol Johnson for making this happen. I’m here and I’m ready to grab it with both hands. I’m so excited, and what a card to be on. Hopefully it’s my first title of many. Expect some good skilled boxing and a guaranteed win for Liam Davies. This is the hardest fight of my professional career and I expect that. I know he’s a tall awkward southpaw, I’m tall myself so it’s going to be a great fight and I can’t wait to get in there now.”

Sean Cairns – Liverpool, England – 7-2, 1 KO – fighting Liam Davies for the vacant English Bantamweight Title:

“We’ve both got to take our opportunities haven’t we. Liam is looking past me, and I know he’s looking past me. I like that. This is what you dream of when you turn pro isn’t it. To be on big shows like this. I’m just so blessed to be here. If you’d look at my life ten years ago, you’d have never of dreamed of my being here. Honest to god I’m just so blessed to be here and I’m going to take advantage of that. I’m going to grab this opportunity with both hands and you’ll have me back again.

“I’m a great advert for what boxing can do for you. I’m from probably the roughest part of Liverpool. You’re a product of your environment aren’t you. I was led down the wrong road when I was younger but boxing took me out of that and look where I’m sitting now. Ten years ago you would never expected it. Not even ten years ago, seven years ago even. Where I’m from there’s no youth clubs or anything like that anymore. There’s only boxing clubs for the kids to go to. They’re the only places that keep kids off the streets. Boxing has saved my life.”

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