CONOR Benn soon hopes to be in the running for a world title.

But the 24-year-old boxer is being helped by a 13-year-old running sensation from Thorpe Bay for his next fight.

Benn takes on Samuel Vargas at Wembley Arena next month.

And Benn, who is based in Stock, has been preparing for the bout by carrying out his running sessions alongside Beau MacDonald who remains one of the country’s best athletes for his age-group.

“I’ve been training well and Beau has been helping me reach my personal best running times too,” said Benn.

“We train two or three times a week and it’s great. Not many people I know can keep up with me running let alone push me and Beau does that.

“There’s also a pride thing where I can’t let him beat me because he’s younger. It’s challenging but he’s nice to run with too and I love running on Southend sea-front.

“It’s nice and it’s flat as well.

“You can gauge what your times are really like when you’re running on these roads.”

Benn and MacDonald first met through their strength and conditioning coach Dan Lawrence. And Benn feels preparations are going well for his forthcoming fight, despite the current coronavirus restrictions.

“I’ve still been able to work as normal,” said Benn.

“I’ve got the keys to a gym and you’ve had to be ahead of the curve. When people are slacking you have to be working and I’ve certainly been doing that.”

Benn combines running along with sea-front with track sessions he also conducts alongside MacDonald. And Benn has been impressed by his training partner’s commitment to his own sporting career.

“We first met at the gym and I saw just how dedicated Beau was as a young athlete,” said Benn.

“He will be flying by the time he’s my age. If he’s pushing me at 24, he’s definitely doing bits. I’ve said to Beau’s dad that I hope my son is like Beau because he’s just so dedicated.

"Some of the runs we do are at 6.30am and he’s always on time. He’s a dream to work with if you were his coach and he can go all the way.

“But I do outdo him on the strength and conditioning which can make up for not winning on the runs!”

MacDonald, who is also a highly rated player in Southend United’s academy has continued to work hard on his own sporting goals during lockdown. And he is thoroughly enjoying his link up with Benn.

“It’s really exciting to be working with a professional athlete,” said MacDonald.

“It’s hard trying to keep up but I do outdo him at times. He says he can beat me with S&C but I’d like to see what his football is like! I’ve been doing technical work with the football but it’s been hard.

"With the running though I’ve still been able to do the one on ones with my coach Adam Hickey and it’s been really good.”