By: Sean Crose
The enigmatic 22-0 welterweight Conor Benn looked to showcase his skills Saturday in a scheduled 12 round affair broadcast live from Las Vegas by DAZN . His opponent was the little known but undefeated 16-0 Peter Dobson. Whereas Britain’s Benn looked to impress, New York’s Dobson looked to shock the world. Benn had a strong, aggressive first behind an effective jab which Dobson had little response to. Benn continued to fight well in the second. Dobson, early on at least, was looking pointedly outclassed. He was game, Dobson, but he was unable to press the fight early on.
In the third, Benn appeared to be willing to slowly break Dobson down. Calmly pursuing his prey while working the body hard, the Englishman looked quite at ease throughout most of the chapter. Still, Dobson caught his man, then worked the body well himself in the final seconds of the round. Dobson went on to press the action in the fourth. It was something of a surprise to see, as Benn had been so in control of the first portion of the fight. Benn outboxed Dobson early in the fifth, though Dobson was able to land clean on Benn’s head numerous times. By the end of the round, Dobson actually appeared to be the stronger of the two fighters.
The sixth was an interesting affair. Dobson certainly wasn’t doing bad but Benn was doing a bit better, throwing in combinations, and landing more frequently. As for the seventh, Benn worked his strong jab successfully, making himself the more active of the two fighters in the process. Benn took to blazing away in the eighth. Dobson might have been too solid to drop or crumble, but Benn clearly had the edge in sharpness by that point of the fight. The eighth saw Benn continue to land clean. Dobson, however, was providing Benn with a full night’s work, something that few perhaps expected to see.
Dobson was able to move forward in the ninth. He also took holding on to Benn in order to wear Benn down. Dobson was able to land at times, but Ben had a solid enough defense to allow few of Dobson’s shots to get through. Yet Dobson fought aggressively early in the tenth. Benn’s quick footwork, however, ended up telling the story of the round. Dobson had his moments in the eleventh but he simply couldn’t put anything together with any consistency.
The twelfth and final round didn’t see Dobson showing quite the aggression one might think he would. Again, he was a man who fought in bursts. Benn had just proven to be too consistent, too aggressive, and perhaps too skilled throughout the entire battle. After the fight was over, the judges – not surprisingly – awarded Benn a unanimous decision win. “People will always criticize Conor Benn,” promoter Eddie Hearn said afterward, “but who will step up and fight him?”