Benn remained unbeaten by winning a unanimous decision, but Dobson demonstrated that he could take Benn’s power and could compete with a more touted fighter who entered their 12-round, 151-pound bout as a 14-1 favorite according to DraftKings sportsbook. Judges Tim Cheatham (119-109), David Sutherland (118-110) and Steve Weisfeld (118-110) all scored their fight for England’s Benn by big margins at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Benn, 27, went 12 rounds for the first time in a pro career he began nearly eight years ago. He also admitted afterward that he’ll undoubtedly be “disappointed” with his performance.
“I was in cruise control,” Benn told DAZN’s Jamie Ward. “You know, hey, it was all right. I’ve had harder sparring [sessions]. Do you know what I mean? But it was good work.” Dobson, 33, was unbeaten before Saturday, but he hadn’t fought an opponent as relentless and strong as Benn, the son of British boxing legend Nigel Benn. The Hackensack, New Jersey resident displayed a reliable chin, though, and landed his fair share of right hands in a fight that became somewhat competitive after the third round. “Yeah, I mean, listen, I always gun for the first round,” Benn said. “Do you know what I mean? If I get him out of there, if I see an opening, I take it, you know? I don’t miss when I shoot. You know, I took my shots and he was still standing. He was tough, but he was in there to survive, really. You know, a bit disappointed. I come out like I said I’d come out and, you know, if he had opened up, instead of surviving, you know, then I would’ve got – he would’ve been in for it.” Dobson, a Bronx native, continually trashed Benn’s abilities before they fought. After a slow start during which he often covered up, Dobson started to land his right hand during the fourth round. Ilford’s Benn (23-0, 14 KOs) nevertheless defeated Dobson (16-1, 9 KOs) comfortably in a main event DAZN streamed.
It became clear by the time the final round began that Benn and Dobson would go the distance, despite that Benn predicted a first-round knockout. A left hook by Benn landed a little less than 50 seconds into the 12th round, but Dobson drilled Benn with a right hand less than 10 seconds later that got Benn’s attention. Benn landed two hard right hands just before the midway mark of the 11th round. Dobson made the second half of the 11th round competitive, though. Dobson landed a hard right with about a minute to go in the 10th round. By then, Benn’s work rate wasn’t what it was in most of the prior rounds. Dobson landed an overhand right with just over 30 seconds to go in the ninth round. He also landed a left hook after the bell sounded to end the ninth round.
A right by Benn landed as Dobson retreated 15 seconds into the ninth round. Benn drilled Dobson with another right when there was just under two minutes to go in the ninth round. A left-right combination by Benn knocked Dobson into the ropes 20 seconds into the eighth round. Much like he did during the seventh round, Benn worked well off his jab in the remainder of the eighth round. Benn’s jab was effective during the seventh round. Benn landed two hard rights with approximately 1:10 to go in the sixth round. A left by Dobson backed Benn into the ropes with just under 1:45 to go in the sixth round. Dobson’s right landed again in an exchange when Benn was backed against the ropes with 1:40 on the clock in the fifth round. A little less than a minute later, Dobson connected with another right hand.
A right by Dobson landed as Benn attempted to move away from him about 50 seconds into the fifth round. Dobson seemingly gained confidence and began letting his hands go more in the fourth round than he did during any of the first three rounds. Dobson’s right landed with just over a minute to go in the fourth round. Dobson drilled Benn with a right hand that landed to the side of his head a few seconds before the third round concluded. Benn snuck a left hook around Dobson’s guard with just over 1:40 remaining in the third round. Dobson covered up, but Benn caught him with another right hand about 25 seconds into the third round. Benn blasted Dobson with a right and then a left hook with just under 45 seconds on the clock in the second round. A left hook by Benn knocked Dobson off balance 25 seconds into the second round.
Benn attacked Dobson as soon as the opening bell rang, which caused Dobson to hold him several times in the first three minutes of action. A right hand by Benn landed at exactly the midway mark of the first round. Another right landed to the side of Dobson’s head with just over a minute to go in the opening round. Benn also landed a hard left to Dobson’s body just before the bell sounded to end the first round. Benn fought for the second time in the United States within the past four months. The welterweight contender hasn’t been licensed to box in his home country since Benn failed two tests for clomiphene, a banned substance, before his domestic showdown with family rival Chris Eubank Jr. Eubank-Benn was canceled two days before it was scheduled to occur in October 2022 at O2 Arena in London.
England’s National Anti-Doping Panel lifted Benn’s suspension last July, but the British Boxing Board of Control and its performance-enhancing drug testing agency, UK Anti-Doping, appealed that decision. The appellate process is ongoing, though Benn’s hearing could be scheduled for some time this month. Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for themusicboxingmachine.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.