Conor Benn shocks Samuel Vargas with first-round knockout

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Conor Benn produced a brutal display to stop Samuel Vargas inside the first round of their WBA continental welterweight clash at the Copper Box Arena in London.

The 24-year-old, who beat Sebastian Formella on points last time out, took his professional record to 18 wins from as many fights as he left Vargas doubled up on the ropes following a barrage of lightning quick blows.

Vargas was by far the most experienced man Benn had faced, but the Essex fighter produced a confident display to lay down a marker – and then called out a showdown with Amir Khan, the former WBA and IBF light-welterweight champion.

Benn, the son of former two-weight world champion Nigel, had weighed in at 10st 6lbs 12oz, some two ounces heavier than Vargas.

Spaniard Vargas, who had faced some of the biggest names in the 147lb division including Khan, had no answer as he barely laid a glove on Benn before the referee stepped in to end the contest after only one minute and 22 seconds.

“Statement made. No-one has banged him out in one round – easy, easy,” Benn said ringside on Sky Sports.

“Give me a proper test. Give me Amir Khan. I know he is too busy on reality shows and all that. If he wants it, he can get it.

“I don’t think I gained any experience in there tonight, apart from I can deal with the pressure. I can cope with it because I am built for it, all this hype, I can live with it, it is not a problem.

“I am ready for the top dogs – Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner. I want them, I want to test myself.

“I am the most rapidly improved fighter globally, forget the United Kingdom.

Benn added: “Name me any legend’s son who is improving drastically like I am?

“I am putting the Benn name back where it belongs and that is on top, and I will continue to prove I am top dog.

“I am the best welterweight in the country and no-one entertains like me.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn also has a showdown with Khan in his sights.

“The next fight has to be a top 15 in the world,” Hearn said ringside. “Benn vs Khan, a young guy against a guy with a fantastic legacy.

“I want Benn back out as soon as possible. I’d like to see him win the European title. How can you not get excited?”

On the undercard, Savannah Marshall made a successful first defence of her WBO middleweight title against Swedish late replacement Maria Lindberg.

The 44-year-old came in at short notice after one of the coaches of Belgian fighter Femke Hermans tested positive for coronavirus.

Lindberg was overpowered as Marshall knocked her down twice before finishing the contest in round three.

Earlier, Shannon Courtenay beat Australia’s Ebanie Bridges on a unanimous points decision for the vacant WBA world bantamweight crown.

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