(Reuters) – Britain’s 55-year-old Nigel Benn is set to announce his comeback to boxing 23 years after his last professional fight, his promoter was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t support Nigel if I didn’t believe he was fit to box,’ Mark Peters told the BBC.
Benn is scheduled to attend a news conference in London on Thursday, with British media reporting he would announce a Nov. 23 fight in Birmingham against 40-year-old Cameroon-born Sakio Bika, a former WBC super-middleweight champion.
Benn held the WBO middleweight title in 1990 and also the WBC super-middleweight title from 1992-96. His last fight was in November 1996 when he lost to Irishman Steve Collins.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoc) refused to grant Benn a licence, with the fight to be sanctioned by the British and Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA).
“We were approached by Nigel Benn a few months ago inquiring whether we would grant him a licence, but he was told that we would not consider it, given his age and how long he has been away from the sport,” the Telegraph quoted BBBoC general secretary Robert Smith as saying.
Benn, nicknamed ‘The Dark Destroyer’, has a 42-5-1 record, including 35 wins by KO.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot/Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)