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Whyte vs Parker: Conor Benn says Cedrick Peynaud is ‘irrelevant’ ahead of O2 rematch

10:53 am, 26th July 2018

‘The Destroyer’ says Peynaud is “‘irrelevant” as he tries to wipe his infamous December showdown from the memory and win their Sky Sports Box Office rematch in style.

Benn climbed off the canvas twice in the opening round of their December war and scored two knockdowns of his own to take the six-rounder on points.

The 21-year-old feels he is a level above Peynaud and, with all eyes on him at the sold-out O2, the 21-year-old is looking forward to taking centre stage again and wants to show there is more to his game than the barnstormer that almost cost him dearly seven months ago.

“I am my own man and I think people are starting to see that,” he exclusively told Sky Sports.

“I am just showing more and more to the public and I need to meet their expectations, of course.

“If Conor Benn’s fighting, people know what to expect, but for the first time they are going to see something different. If I see the opportunity I’ll obviously take it and I’d be a fool not to. I don’t think twice about that but I want to take my time, really take my time.

“I almost want it to be slow. I want to know I can do that, without getting drawn in by the crowd. I want to sit back and think, maybe it’ll be me moving around for the first three or four rounds, me on the back foot.

“I would love it to go like that, at The O2, with everyone watching, me testing myself. I am my biggest threat on Saturday night, not him. He’s irrelevant.

“Me moving around on the back foot and taking my time, that’ll be my biggest test so far.”

Benn has also been his own worst critic despite moving to 12-0-KO9 after a handful of amateur fights and turning professional at the age of just 19.

The Peynaud fight was his fifth in as many months after recovering from a serious jaw injury and suffering a severe allergic reaction in New York, days before he made his American debut.

Benn happily admits that his “roller-coaster” journey is a constant learning process, both in and out of the ring, and he puts the now infamous December knockdowns on him, not his French foe.

And while Saturday night headliner Dillian Whyte might remain linked with an Anthony Joshua rematch, with fellow heavyweight Dereck Chisora keen on a ‘Body Snatcher’ reunion, Benn is only interested in moving forward and proving the first fight was down to him and not his opponent.

“At first the Peynaud fight bothered me and all I wanted was the rematch,” he said.

“But at the end of the day I had a bad night at the office and that was that. That’s going to happen but I am levels above him. I just got caught flush and panicked and that’s that.

“I showed a lot of balls in that fight and if I had to go through that fight for that reason, then so be it. I looked at Peynaud’s record and didn’t think much of it but then I was caught flush and anyone can bang from round one to round three. You are going to get hit if you stand there aren’t you?

“I am going into this fight cautious because you look at every opponent as if he’s your hardest opponent. I am just going to box and barely get hit. That’s what I believe.

“How I win that is the important thing for me in this one.”

Watch Dillian Whyte vs Joseph Parker with Katie Taylor, Dereck Chisora, Joshua Buatsi and Conor Benn all on the undercard, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from The O2, Saturday, July 28.

You can book via your Sky remote, via sky.com/boxofficeonline here and even if you aren’t a Sky subscriber you can book and watch it via skysports.com/boxofficelive