CHRIS VAN HEERDEN is the frontrunner to face Conor Benn, Boxing News understands, on a show the UK star expects to headline on April 16.

Benn’s team has also been in talks with Maurice Hooker and Robert Guerrero but those former belt-holders are less likely to get the fight with the Briton next. Van Heerden has been inactive in recent years but has a respectable 28-2-1 record. The important thing for Benn is to be busy himself. He intends to fight at least three times this year.

Benn says he’s happy to box anyone. “Anyone, anyone top 10, anyone. I’d have [Yordenis] Ugas next. I’d have anyone,” he told Boxing News. “I just leave it to my team to pick the opponent and I go okay, let’s go.”

“It will be in the month of April [when he fights]. We’ll just keep working hard, keep grafting and when the opportunity presents itself, as in a fight date, then we’ll make sure we’re ready,” Benn said.

As well as London, he’s open to headlining in other cities across the country, whether it’s Liverpool, where he fought last, Manchester, Newcastle or elsewhere. “It’s just nice that I’m able to fight in front of the fans up North,” he says. “[The support] is overwhelming. It’s like what did I do to deserve this? I think I just give people value for money and I love to entertain the public. I fight with my heart on my sleeve.

“It just encourages me that what I’m doing is right and I love the public for it. It’s just warming. It’s very warming for me.”

Benn has also suggested an unlikely fight with Chris Eubank Jr, the son of Chris Eubank, the legendary rival of Conor’s father Nigel Benn, at an 154lb catchweight. “It’s very realistic,” Conor insisted. “I’m walking around at super-middle now so 154 is not problem for me to make at all.”

It was watching Eubank Jr’s recent bout with Liam Williams that prompted Benn to make the challenge public. “It was an awkward performance,” he said of Eubank Jr. “Awkward to the eye that’s for sure, in terms of it was just an odd fight.

“He [Eubank] can fight but he’s an awkward boxer. He looks awkward to the eye but he can fight.”