European champion David Avanesyan is “levels above” Conor Benn and would “100 per cent” take that fight next, says the Russian’s manager Neil Marsh.
Benn extended his unbeaten record to 19 victories with a wide points victory over Adrian Granados in Leeds last weekend.
Avanesyan defends his European welterweight title on October 2, live on Sky Sports, and would relish a future battle with Benn after knocking out fellow British contender Josh Kelly.
“I don’t want to disrespect Conor,” Avanesyan’s manager Neil Marsh told Sky Sports.
“I think he’s come a long way. I just think that there’s certain people hyping him up and adding pressure to the young man’s shoulders, which they shouldn’t be doing.
“He’s very popular, he’s got a popular style and he’s a work in progress. We’ve got respect for him.
“People should be allowing the kid to develop a little bit more under the radar.
“David a is a true hard man, he fights anyone. If I say, ‘You want to fight Conor Benn? Yes!’
“No disrespect to Conor, David is levels above him. Conor is getting closer, but David is a class above at the moment. It’s not a dangerous fight. Of course, he’d fight Conor Benn, 100 per cent.”
Avanesyan’s sixth-round stoppage of Kelly scuppered plans for a domestic clash between the Sunderland man and Benn.
But Marsh has raised doubts about whether Benn will instead fight Avanesyan.
“David destroyed Josh Kelly. No disrespect to Josh. They made a huge error, thinking they had got David Avanesyan at the right time. They got the most hungry David Avanesyan ever to be a fighter.
“I don’t even think a world title will entice him [Benn]. They just wouldn’t be interested in it. Full stop.
“David clearly states that he’s a proud European champion and anybody who wants this belt, any true fighters will have to take the belt off me in the ring. Nobody will fight for my European title without beating me.”
Avanesyan was linked with a potential WBO title fight against Terence Crawford, who will instead face mandatory challenger Shawn Porter, with a date and venue to be confirmed.
A WBA title fight against Lamont Peterson ended in a points loss for Avanesyan in 2017, although Marsh is hopeful that victory over Liam Taylor next month will keep the 33-year-old on a collision course with the division’s champions.
“It would have been nice [the Terence Crawford fight], but with a mandatory, you’ve got no chance.
“I rate David highly. Some fighters improve on the back of a loss, some go backwards, but under the guidance of Carl Greaves, David has gone five steps forwards.
“Plus, the emergence of his two young children in the same time period has given him another level.
“If anything, the losses shocked us, because he shouldn’t have lost those fights. David is a much better fighter, but saying that, he’s actually improved from them.
“David will fight any of them, but unfortunately he’s dangerous, he’s Russian, he can punch, he’s hurtful and he’s probably on everybody’s unwanted shopping list.”
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
Oscar Valdez vs Robson Conceicao – WBC super-featherweight title
September 25 – Sky Sports Box Office
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk – IBF, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles
Lawrence Okolie vs Dilan Prasovic – WBO cruiserweight title
Chris Eubank Jr vs Sven Elbir
David Avanesyan vs Liam Taylor – European welterweight title
Richard Riakpohre vs Krzysztof Twardowski
Mikael Lawal vs Steven Ward
Savannah Marshall vs Lolita Muzeya – WBO middleweight title
Hughie Fury vs Christian Hammer
Jamel Herring vs Shakur Stevenson – WBO super-featherweight title
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title