Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
“I hope Florian Marku and Conor Benn do meet because it would be a huge event,” says Sam Jones. “Marku’s self-belief is unbelievable. He is naturally gifted and is getting better.”
Last Updated: 22/02/21 12:46pm
Florian Marku could target a former opponent of Conor Benn’s to edge closer to tempting his rival into the ring, says manager Sam Jones.
Undefeated Marku won a grudge match against Rylan Charlton on Saturday then challenged Benn whose response was: “I’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
‘The Albanian King’ Marku could instead seek to face Sebastian Formella, who Benn recorded a career-best win against last year.
“We’d be happy to take the Formella fight,” Marku’s manager Jones told Sky Sports. “We’ve told [promoter Eddie Hearn] that.
“If Florian had the same trajectory as Benn, he’d be in the same position.
“Benn has had a good route mapped out for him. He has skipped the domestic scene.
“I expect him to beat Samuel Vargas in three or four rounds.
“I hope Florian and Benn do meet because it would be a huge event.”
Benn will fight Vargas on April 10, live on Sky Sports.
He was ringside to watch Marku defeat Charlton and responded to being challenged: “I don’t blame him. He’s 28 and has to push on.
“But he got bullied by a super-lightweight, hit with a left hook and put down.
“I beat undefeated kids early on in my career. Been there, done it, seen it. At that stage of my career, I was calling out people like me.
“Coward? Come on, man. Don’t be silly.
“If that was my left hook, he’d be put to sleep.
“How many times have I been called out? Tons. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.
“I take it with a pinch of salt. You’ve got to laugh.”
Marku has exploded onto the welterweight scene over the past year although his future could be in the division below with a return planned for June.
He boasts an electric Albanian fan-base that once sold out London’s York Hall and created a vociferous atmosphere in his support.
“He would sell out Madison Square Garden in New York, that is not an exaggeration,” says Jones.
“If he fought in Albania the country would come to a standstill. He would pack out The O2 in London too.
“His fan-base is like Josh Warrington’s in Leeds. He has as big a support as anyone in this country.
“You want him to lose or want him to win, but you want to watch him. Everyone has an opinion. All the welterweights in this country are talking about him.
“I’ve been in changing rooms before a fight with Gennadiy Golovkin, Jorge Linares, Tyson Fury, Joe Joyce. With Florian? It’s like he’s going to a nightclub!
“The self-belief is unbelievable. He is naturally gifted and is getting better.”