Tag Archives: Eddie Hearn

Eddie Hearn Gives His Point Of View On Why Jermall Charlo Hasn’t Fought Demetrius Andrade: “If Charlo Believed He Would Win, He Would Fight Him”
Posted on 02/26/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Eddie Hearn thought it was going to be pretty easy. With someone as skilled as Demetrius Andrade, the long-time promoter figured all he needed to do was provide him with a platform to showcase his skills and the big fights would come rolling in. However, after spending so many years promoting him, he’s found it virtually impossible to find a notable contest for him.

With no big fights on the horizon, Hearn is coming to the realization that throughout all of his years as a promoter, Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) could very well be the most difficult fighter he’s ever tried to get a big fight for.

“I think so,” said Hearn during an interview with BoxingInsider.com. “Billy Joe Saunders is up there, Devin Haney is now looking like one of those guys as well. It’s a huge compliment to these fighters that the champions won’t face them because what it means is they’re really good.”

Amongst the many names that Hearn has attempted to lure into the ring to face the WBO middleweight belt holder is WBC titlist Jermall Charlo. For years now, Hearn has sat back and listened to the surly knockout artist scream and shout that he was the best fighter in the division.

Following Charlo’s most recent win against Sergiy Derevyanchenko this past September, the Houstonian claimed that he wanted to become a unified champion. However, when Hearn reached out to team Charlo with what he felt was a significant offer, reportedly for seven million dollars, nothing came to fruition.

Despite the large sum of cash, for whatever reason, their negotiations never quite got out of the racing blocks. Although several months have passed since then, Hearn is still acrimonious over the entire event.

“What pisses me off is you’ve got people like Charlo who finishes his fight and he says he wants to unify the division and wants every belt. Well, I’ve got one for you, Demetrius Andrade. Here’s a huge offer to fight on DAZN but he says no, he doesn’t want to fight on DAZN so I say okay, let’s do it on Showtime or FOX. We want the same money that you just paid Derevyanchenko, that’s it.”

With Hearn willing to acquiesce to all of Charlo’s demands, more or less, the head man over at Matchroom doesn’t believe Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) will jump into the ring with Andrade anytime soon.

Simply put, it doesn’t matter how much money he throws in his face or how badly he attempts to antagonize him. Hearn unambiguously believes that Charlo knows in his heart of hearts that if they do fight, he just won’t win.

“What is it? Do they not think they can beat him? Ultimately it is, cause if it was an easy fight or if Charlo believe’d he would win, he would fight him.”

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Eddie Hearn On Deontay Wilder: “If He Can’t Show That Power Then He’s Irrelevant”
Posted on 02/25/2021

By: Hans Themistode

August 8, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Eddie Hearn speaks at the press conference announcing the October 6, 2018 Matchroom Boxing USA card at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

For the most part, promoter Eddie Hearn simply couldn’t understand what everyone was talking about. Sure former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was winning, but the manner in which he was doing was so was vastly unimpressive to the long-time headman over at Matchroom.

To Hearn, Wilder’s saving grace always has and always will be his devastating power. However, as illustrated in his last fight against Tyson Fury, that vaunted power doesn’t mean a thing if it doesn’t land.

“Without his power, I don’t even think he would be registered on the world-class scene,” said Hearn during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He does have tremendous power. But, in my opinion, the only way he wins is to detonate that power against an elite heavyweight. If you look at the second Luis Ortiz fight, he lost every round but he showed the power. If he can’t show that power then he’s irrelevant in the fight against a brilliant fighter. Fury was too smart for him.”

Wilder, of course, stopped Ortiz in the seventh round of their 2019 contest but was ultimately knocked out in the seventh against Tyson Fury the following year.

Since then, Wilder has chastised his now former co-trainer Mark Breland for stopping their contest and ripped apart referee Kenny Bayless for his alleged preferential treatment of Fury on the night.

Without a fight date, Wilder’s return to the ring is an open-ended question. But while many have no idea if or when, he will return at all, Hearn hopes that he does in fact comeback.

“I hope so. He’s brilliant for the sport, great for the game. He’s a good self-promoter, great talker, really exciting and a huge puncher. I just don’t think he’s very good.”

At no point has Wilder ever been confused with Floyd Mayweather. In short, the Alabama native isn’t known for his boxing ability. But even at the peak of his powers, Hearn always believed that unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua would handle Wilder convincingly.

Unfortunately however, both sides could never come to terms on a fight agreement. In Hearn’s opinion, Wilder had a much better chance of defeating Joshua several years ago. Now, on the other hand, Hearn believes Wilder would simply be wiped out.

“I’ve always felt that AJ (Anthony Joshua) would just destroy him and even more so now. He’s technically so good now that Wilder wouldn’t even get his shot off. AJ used to be reckless and when you’re reckless, you’re always wide open to the shot. But now, AJ would take his time and pick him apart.”

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Eddie Hearn: “Callum Smith Is Going To Return Later This Year At Light Heavyweight”
Posted on 02/18/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Callum Smith won’t make any excuses. However, something just wasn’t right.

When the British native stepped into the ring against Canelo Alvarez just a few months ago, he looked lethargic, passive and unenthused about being there. By the time 12 rounds of action passed by, Smith knew that he hadn’t done nearly enough to pick up the win. He was right as he lost a wide decision on the night.

Shortly after the defeat which resulted in the forfeiture of his WBA and Ring magazine titles, Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) told reporters that making the super middleweight limit has never been easy and making the move to light heavyweight could be a move that he does sooner rather than later. Well, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, that move is coming now.

“Callum Smith is going to return later this year at light heavyweight,” said Hearn during his Instagram Live.

In terms of whom Smith could make his return against, Hearn was mum on the subject. But while an opponent hasn’t been sought out just yet, Hearn does work closely with WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol. The undefeated belt holder is set to end a year and a half of inactivity later on this year as Hearn is currently working on back-to-back title defenses in an effort to help him shake some of the rust off.

As for Smith’s run at 168 pounds, he leaves behind a legacy that included a WBA world title, a first-place finish in the World Boxing Super Series in 2018 and a long list of notable fighters he knocked off along the way.

With stoppage wins over the likes of George Groves, Rocky Fielding and Hassan N’Dam – Smith will look to pick up even bigger victories and more world titles seven pounds north. First things first however, he’ll continue to recover from the injuries he suffered at the hands of Alvarez before getting his feet wet in a new weight class.

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Eddie Hearn On Canelo Alvarez: “Billy Joe Saunders On May The 8th Then He Wants To Go And Fight Caleb Plant”
Posted on 02/16/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Canelo Alvarez tends to give cliche answers at times.

Regardless of boxing fans having a strong idea as to who he is expected to fight next, Alvarez remains in the moment and always keeps his options open.

Case in point would be the Mexican star’s refusal to acknowledge that should he get past his mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in less than two weeks, a fight with WBO super middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders is next on his boxing calendar.

One man, who has no problem revealing the future plans of Alvarez is promoter Eddie Hearn. And again, during a recent interview with Fight Hub TV, Hearn spilled the beans on the 2021 fight schedule for Alvarez.

“Our deal with him is a two-fight deal,” explained Hearn. “The first is Avni Yildirim and subject to him winning and finalizing some minor stuff, Billy Joe Saunders on May the 8th. Then he wants to go and fight Caleb Plant.”

Alvarez, 30, by all accounts, is still a promotional free agent following his fallout with DAZN and promoter Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. Meaning, unlike many of the top boxing names who are shackled to long-term deals and more times than not, are not afforded the opportunity to face the names that fans would like them to, i.e., Terence Crawford, Alvarez simply doesn’t have that issue.

Still, while Alvarez has shown absolutely no interest in signing his name to promotional deals, Hearn isn’t worried about his staying power with the pound-for-pound star. Simply put, don’t fix what isn’t broken.

“I don’t see it happening. We have a great relationship. We worked fantastically together for the Callum Smith fight and we actually have another big announcement coming with Canelo Alvarez next week for some more business together.”

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Eddie Hearn Doesn’t Expect Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury Winner To Be Undisputed For Long: “The WBO Will Have To Be Vacated After The First Fight”
Posted on 02/13/2021

By: Hans Themistode

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 25: Anthony Joshua during an Anthony Joshua and Jarrell Miller Press Conference ahead of their fight in June 2019 for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles at Hilton London Syon Park on February 25, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The undisputed title reign of either Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury will apparently be short-lived. With both heavyweight titlist headed towards a two fight showdown with all of the marbles on the line, whomever walks away from their first contest as the winner will become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.

Although there will be reason to celebrate, neither man will have time to bask in the ultimate glory for long.

“The WBO will have to be vacated after the first fight,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to The Express.

While the WBC, IBF and WBA sanctioning bodies have all been onboard in allowing their undisputed contest to take place, the WBO has always been reluctant. Their resistance to the showdown mostly stems from mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. After capturing every world title in the Cruiserweight division, Usyk decided that it was time to move on to bigger and better things. Upon arriving in the land of the heavyweights, the Ukrainian was guaranteed a title shot due to his status one weight class lower.

However, due to various injuries and a worldwide pandemic, Usyk’s title shot was protracted. Now, with wins against Chazz Witherspoon and Dereck Chisora, Usyk remains in the number one position to challenge for the WBO world title.

For the WBO, they were placed between a rock and a hard place. Ultimately, the sanctioning body decided to allow Joshua to hold on to his WBO title which now allows his unification showdown with Fury to have every single heavyweight championship on the line.

Not to be completely ignored, the sanctioning body has placated Usyk’s worries by allowing him to fight for its interim title against number two contender Joe Joyce. The winner of their matchup would then be assured a shot at the full title.

If either Joshua or Fury is stripped of the WBO title following their first matchup for refusing to face the winner of Usyk vs Joyce due to their immediate rematch, is of little importance. As long as the first contest between Joshua and Fury produces an undisputed world champion that’s all that matters. Even if it is short-lived.

“If they’re contracted to have two fights and the winner has got to fight the winner of Usyk vs Joyce, they’re just not going to do it. It’s fine because we get the undisputed first. All I want is the winner of this fight to be undisputed. What happens after that doesn’t matter, it’s just a rematch and another great fight. But this is what it’s all about, finding out who the best is.”

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Canelo Alvarez vs Callum Smith Inching Towards December Showdown
Posted on 11/11/2020

By: Hans Themistode


Fans of Canelo Alvarez had become sick and tired of watching their pound for pound star fighting his battles outside of the ring and inside the courtroom. Now, it appears things will go back to normal. 

After a relatively short legal battle with former promoter Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions along with streaming company DAZN, Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) has become a free agent and is reportedly facing off against WBC super middleweight titlist Callum Smith in mid December. No deal has been struck yet, but promoter Eddie Hearn has stated that talks are “ongoing.” 

Also, according to Hearn, although Alvarez has recently broke free from his DAZN contract, should his contest against Smith take place, it would be shown on DAZN. 

Alvarez, 30, is still in possession of the WBA Regular super middleweight title. A belt he claimed in late 2018 with a third round knockout victory over Rocky Fielding, making a potential showdown with Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) a unification contest. 

For Smith, the lanky British product has also sat idly on the sidelines. In his last ring appearance, which took place in November of 2019, roughly the same date as Alvarez, Smith was seen struggling to win a unanimous decision against then mandatory challenger John Ryder. Regardless of his performance, Smith has called for a showdown with Alvarez for years now. 

The former World Boxing Super Series winner was always viewed as a possible candidate. Yet, so was WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, IBF belt holder Caleb Plant and a long list of others. 

Nothing is set in stone as of now, but Hearn believes something could be imminent. Should a deal be struck, the likely destination would be Texas. Late last month, former two division champion Gervonta Davis, hosted the first live boxing event with a crowd in attendance since COVID-19 closed the doors of various venues around the world. A crowd of just over 9,000 witnessed the 25 year old score a knockout of the year candidate against Leo Santa Cruz. 

In Alvarez’s last trip to Texas, the former four division champion stopped Liam Smith, brother of Callum, in the ninth round of their contest. 

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Eddie Hearn: “Devin Haney Would Have Beaten Vasiliy Lomachenko”
Posted on 11/04/2020

By: Hans Themistode

From the moment Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez was made, promoter Eddie Hearn believed that their contest would be one way traffic.

It was never meant to be a slight to the boxing ability of Lopez, but more so a compliment to how great of a fighter Lomachenko is. Yet, following a timid first half, the former three division world titlist found himself digging out of a major hole during the second half of their contest. Despite his rally, his efforts were not rewarded as he lost via unanimous decision.

Even with their contest taking place several weeks ago, Hearn can’t help but poke fun at himself over his prediction.

“I rate Lomachenko so highly,” said Hearn during a recent Zoom press conference. “I think he’s a great fighter. I gave a great prediction for that Lomachenko vs Lopez fight when I said Lomachenko would win every round. How wrong was I? I woke up on Sunday and checked my phone and couldn’t believe what I saw.”

Although Hearn gives Lopez all of the credit in the world, apart of him believes that his fighter in WBC lightweight belt holder Devin Haney missed the boat. Before Lopez vs Lomachenko was ever signed, the 21 year old and his promoter threw their name into the mix for a possible showdown.

In September of 2019, Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) ran over Zaur Abdullaev to the tune of a fourth round stoppage win. The victory netted the Las Vegas, resident the WBC interim title and placed him at the head of the line for a shot at Lomachenko.

Those dreams however, were immediately crushed as President of the WBC Mauricio Sulaiman pushed Lomachenko to Franchise status. As a result, Haney was subsequently made full champion.

For Hearn, he never wanted his fighter to win his world title that way. So while he gives a round of applause to team Lopez for what they were able to accomplish, he firmly believes that Haney would have done the exact same.

“Bill Haney and Devin Haney believed that they were the one’s that could beat Lomachenko. It’s easy for me now to say yeah Devin would have done exactly what Teofimo did but on that night, I think for sure Devin Haney would have beaten Vasiliy Lomachenko.”

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Eddie Hearn: “Vasiliy Lomachenko Will Win Every Round”
Posted on 10/16/2020

By: Hans Themistode

Most of the boxing world has been conflicted.

On some days, observers of the sport have been firmly behind unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko to win his clash against fellow belt holder Teofimo Lopez. But on others, the script is flipped as they believe Lopez will decapitate Lomachenko tomorrow night.

No matter which way most are viewing their contest, most, if not all, believe it will be a close contest from start to finish.

But while the boxing world continues to flip flop between their respective picks, promoter Eddie Hearn didn’t waste any time in making his.

“Vasiliy Lomachenko will win every round,” said Hearn to IFL TV.

Hearn, of course, has seen Lomachenko up close and personal on several occasions. In back to back fights in which the British promoter was apart of, he saw Lomachenko cruise past his fighters. The first occurred in April of 2019. Hearn sat back and watched his fellow Britt in Anthony Crolla get annihilated in four rounds.

Just four months later, Hearn would again be ringside as he watched another of his fighters, this time in Luke Campbell, get toyed with by the Ukrainian.

Lopez, to his credit, has done some impressive work over the years as well. The Brooklyn native rolled over his competition which subsequently led a second round stoppage win over then title holder Richard Commey in December of 2019.

Ever since the 23 year old has stepped foot inside a boxing ring, he’s grown a reputation for not only talking smack but also backing it up. During the build up of his contest against Lomachenko, Lopez has followed the exact same script.

In short, the knockout artist has done the sort of talking that has many believing in him. With that being said, Hearn isn’t one of them.

“Great fight, great fight. Lopez has done some brilliant talking. But Lomachenko will win every round.”

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Eddie Hearn Brutally Honest On Dillian Whyte’s Career If He Loses Against Alexander Povetkin Again: “I Think It’s Terminal For His World Title Chances”
Posted on 09/19/2020

By: Hans Themistode

Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte was in clear control of his career. 

Following eight straight wins against some of the divisions very best including former belt holders Joseph Parker and Lucas Browne, Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) found himself on the verge of his very own title shot. All the British native needed to do was dispose of the ancient 41 year old contender Alexander Povetkin on August 22nd. 

Before their matchup, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman went on the record stating that if Whyte managed to do what many were expecting, that he would be given the first shot at the Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury winner. 

Povetkin vs Whyte played out typically to start off. Whyte out boxed his man early until he landed bombs on the Russian contender in the fourth round, dropping him twice. Then out of seemingly nowhere, Povetkin landed a monstrous left uppercut that immediately turned off Whyte’s light switch. 

Before Whyte could give his concession speech though, he was calling for an instant rematch. Well, come November 21st, he’ll have his wish. 

Promoter Eddie Hearn didn’t sound thrilled when discussing Whyte’s quick turn around. With that being said, he simply acquiesced to his request.

“Moving into the rematch just 13 weeks after the first fight is very, very dangerous,” said Hearn to Sky Sports. “But Dillian Whyte wouldn’t have it any other way.”

For Povetkin, asking the recently turned 41 year old to make such a quick turn around would seem unfair on his part. But with a highlight level knockout win over his man already under his belt, both him and his team believe that they can and will do it again. 

“Povetkin and his team are ready to go,” said Hearn. “They don’t see a problem. They’ve knocked him out once and they believe they’re going to do it again in November. “

For the past half decade, Whyte carried both pressure and expectations into the ring with him. Following his knockout loss at the hands of current unified champion Anthony Joshua in late 2015, Whyte spent all of his time rebuilding his name and image. By all accounts, it worked. He was widely regarded as a top contender in the division and stood in the number one spot in the WBC rankings. 

The British native could have easily stood by, twiddled his thumbs and waited for his shot at a world title. Instead, he repeatedly placed everything on the line time and time again. The pressure to perform never seemed to bother him, but with two huge knockout losses on his record, Hearn believes the pressure on Whyte for his rematch with Povetkin is going to be out of this world. 

“This is the pressure of his career. He was controlling the fight August 22nd, and then brutal knockout. All of a sudden his career spins on its head. But he’s hugely motivated to put this right but it’s extremely dangerous. I think it’s terminal for his world title chances and that’s obviously the ultimate aim for Dillian Whyte. I think he knows the pressure.”

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Eddie Hearn Optimistic On Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury Showdown: “I Think We Are On The Verge Of Papering That Deal With Bob Arum”
Posted on 09/18/2020

By: Hans Themistode

Most of the boxing world has been fixated on how a Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua showdown would play out. Most of that is due to the fact that both men have come out and expressed their interest in making their fight a reality. 

But while fans and observers are split down the middle on who would actually win, promoter Eddie Hearn cringes whenever he hears a contest between the two discussed. It may be a great fight on paper, but there are way too many roadblocks in the way to have any serious discussions just yet.

“I’ve been talking to Bob Arum about various things such as Crawford against Brook which looks close to happening as well,” said Hearn to Sky Sports. “We want to talk about it but we also want to take care of business which Kubrat Pulev for AJ and Deontay Wilder for Tyson Fury.”

As mentioned by Hearn, one bad night at the office is all it will take to derail one of the biggest fights in recent heavyweight history. 

For Fury, although he’s beaten Wilder before, the former heavyweight champion is reportedly in “tremendous” shape and looks forward to decapitating the British champion this time around. Joshua on the other hand, may have a seemingly easier opponent in front of him in Kubrat Pulev, but with eight straight victories under his belt, coupled with Joshua’s most recent loss against Andy Ruiz Jr. in mid 2019, the 6 ‘6 chiseled unified champion is believed to be vulnerable. 

Still, even with Wilder possessing the sort of power that could leave a fighter in a vegetative state and Pulev in the best form of his life, Hearn believes both Fury and Joshua will get through their preliminary matchups and meet twice next year.

“I’m very sure you are going to see two versions of that fight in 2021. I think we are on the verge of papering that deal with Bob Arum. We haven’t done it yet but all of the conversations have been positive. In 2021 I’m very sure we are going to see those two fights.”

The road isn’t exactly easy for either man, but it’s a clear one, at least for Fury. The current WBC and Lineal titlist simply needs to get past one more opponent in Wilder before he can attempt to unify the division. Yet for WBA/IBF and WBO titlist Anthony Joshua, his road to a mega showdown with his rival has a few more landmines.

Provided Joshua gets past Pulev, standing in between him and the matchup he wants against Fury could be WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion is set to take on heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora later on this year. 

At no point has Usyk ever expressed a desire to take a backseat in order to let someone else take his world title opportunity, and nothing has changed in that regard. 

“For sure, he’s not stepping aside. He wants to fight the winner of Joshua vs Pulev for the WBO world title. Usyk believes he can go out and get a good win under his belt in the heavyweight division and then move on to challenge for a world title in 2021.”

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Eddie Hearn Admits Terence Crawford vs Kell Brook Talks Underway: “We’re Trying To Make That Fight Happen”
Posted on 08/25/2020

By: Hans Themistode

After months of hearing his name associated with the likes of Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and even Gary Russell Jr–Terence Crawford is heading in another direction entirely. 

The WBO welterweight titlist is on a collision course with former belt holder Kell Brook.  Their clash is far from a reality, but according to promoter Eddie Hearn, everything is pointing in the right direction. 

“I had a couple of conversations with Bob and Carl Moretti yesterday,” said Hearn on IFL TV. “I feel that’s a big fight for UK TV, so we’re trying to help out and get that over the line. Personally, I would love to see Kell get that fight.” 

Before COVID-19 turned the boxing landscape upside down, Brook was amongst Arum’s possible opponents for his welterweight titlist. Although, the long time promoter ranked it his least favorite amongst the remaining options on the table

“There are a number of possibilities,” said Arum to talkSPORT two months ago. “Thurman, Porter or this kid Ugas, the Cuban who’s a good, good welterweight. They’re with Al [Haymon’s] company PBC. But we’re working well together with that company, so I don’t think that’ll be a problem. And then finally there’s Kell Brook. So the first possibility is Pacquiao, if that’s possible. Second possibility is a fight against one of Al’s guys. And the third possibility is Kell Brook.”

For Crawford, his name has appeared in the headlines even more than usual as of late. 

Current 126 pound WBC champion Gary Russell Jr. kicked things off. The Maryland native recently revealed that he broke the jaw of Crawford at the Olympic center several years ago during a heated argument. The former three division titlist quickly went online to dismiss Russell Jr’s claims and threatened to “break his neck.” 

Those threats fell on deaf ears as Russell Jr. offered to move up four weight divisions to face Crawford. Most recently, the long standing champion claimed that an offer was sent out to Crawford for a showdown later this year but a response was never sent back. 

As they continued to go back and forth, Crawford quickly found himself feuding with another former champion, but someone his own size in Keith Thurman. 

“You never got respect in the game at 147,” said Thurman to Brian Custer on the Last Stand podcast recently. “You haven’t pushed the buttons at 147.”

With the two sides continuing to bark at one another, Arum nixed any possibilities of the two squaring off in the ring, claiming that Thurman wanted mind numbing money. Numerous reports were that the former champion’s number was in the 10 million dollar range. 

Now, with Thurman off the table and Manny Pacquiao currently eyeing other opponents, Arum appears to be settling for his least desired option. News that brings a smile to the face of Hearn. But before an agreement surfaces, Hearn has made it clear that Arum will have to dig deep in those heavily funded pockets of his.

“I think [Top Rank] had a conversation with Keith Thurman, and obviously they wanted too much money. It’s difficult at the moment … Crawford wants a lot of money, and Kell wants a lot of money. He deserves it. We’re trying to make that fight happen to assist Top Rank in getting the numbers together.”

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Eddie Hearn: “There’s Still A Very Strong Chance That AJ Will Have To Fight Behind Closed Doors”
Posted on 08/06/2020

By: Hans Themistode

2020 has become an absolute crap shoot. 

The year started off with such promise as big time matchups between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury led the way. But with COVID-19 turning the boxing world upside down, notable fighters have seen their once busy schedule dwindle down considerably. 

For unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in particular, his schedule has been nonexistent. 

With a win over Andy Ruiz Jr. to take back the titles that were ripped away from his broad shoulders in late 2019, Joshua was set to return in mid 2020 in a mandatory title defense against number one contender Kubrat Pulev. Assuming Joshua made it out of that contest in one piece, a date with WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk awaited him. From there, a matchup with Tyson Fury would be next on the docket. 

Yet, before boxing fans can wipe the drool from the side of their mouths as they envision those future matchups, Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) must first make his 2020 debut. Unfortunately for the British born champion however, the lack of a live audience has made his return an arduous question to answer.

“We know AJ’s only going to fight once this year,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to ESPN. “We want to give ourselves the best opportunity to bring in a crowd, and obviously the later the better. But it’s still not a gimme at all. There’s still a very strong chance that AJ will have to fight behind closed doors.”

Throwing punches inside of an empty arena will be much different for a man who has grown accustomed to doing so in front of thousands of screaming British fans. The O2 arena in Liverpool, England has become the 30 year old Joshua’s home away from home. But even with countless knockouts inside of that aforementioned venue, it doesn’t seem likely that Joshua will be making a trip there for his matchup with Pulev.

“Their regulations comply with the government, so at the moment they’re closed,” explained Hearn. “So they would need to open up. We’d need to get an understanding from the government what is allowed in arenas. Are you going to open at 50 per cent [capacity]? Are you going to open up 100 per cent? There’s a lot of work that has to go into that with the government and The O2.”

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Fight Camp: Something New And Old
Posted on 08/03/2020

By: Hans Themistode

Dark lighting and empty seats inside of boxing venues have quickly become the new norm. 

Just three months ago, the sport of boxing was put on a COVID-19 induced hiatus. Pugilism was replaced with soap operas and old television shows from the 90s. While they were appreciated, boxing was sorely missed. 

The thought of the sport returning sometime this year seemed far fetched with the deadly virus refusing to slow down. Despite that, promoter Bob Arum and his Top Rank stable set in place the guidelines that would allow them to come back. That they did, but things looked and felt vastly different. 

There were no more obnoxious fans caught on camera giving the middle finger, nor were there any that stood on their feet whenever a big shot landed. No, they were substituted for blacked out backgrounds or in other cases, old fight posters. 

For the most part, fans didn’t seem to care. Fights were back on the big screen and that’s all that mattered. Nevertheless, promoter Eddie Hearn couldn’t stand it. Matchroom Boxing’s head man took notes and began putting the pieces in place to return his fighters to the new COVID-19 boxing world. 

This global pandemic may have placed a hinderance on much of the sport, but for Hearn, he used it to his advantage. And with that being said, “Fight Camp” was born. 

August 8, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Eddie Hearn speaks at the press conference announcing the October 6, 2018 Matchroom Boxing USA card at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

First thing in the morning, Hearn would stretch out and be awoken, not by the sound of birds chirping, but by the sounds of bodies hitting the canvas as he built an entire arena in the backyard of his once childhood home turned Matchroom headquarters. 

Headlining the first event of his outdoor venture would be a pair of fringe 154 pound contenders in Sam Eggington and Ted Cheeseman. Other than the obvious egg and cheese breakfast joke’s that were told at nausea, both fighters put on an eye pleasing show. In between watching fists fly through the night, green grass and Matchroom employees could be seen in the background. 

Hearn’s plan is creative, but not unseen throughout boxing history. Fights have always been done in this way. Friends would gather around a pair of pissed off young adults and watch them settle their differences in a bloody way behind the home of a close friend. Whether you get your ass kicked in the most embarrassing way, or you walked away as the winner, backyard fights have always been a part of both pugilism and fighting history. The StubHub arena in Carson California, has been the home to outdoor boxing events on the west coast for decades. But despite the long outdoor boxing history, nothing has ever been done quite in this way. 

“Fight Camp” is essentially Eddie Hearn’s professional backyard brawls. For the entire month of August and possibly even longer, Matchroom’s head man will continue to host events there. His vision has become a reality, and although he expressed extreme satisfaction with his first event, the jury is still out on whether or not fans of the sport are completely receptive to his idea.

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Eddie Hearn Will Host August 15th Event in The Middle of The Tulsa Streets
Posted on 07/15/2020

By: Hans Themistode

Matchroom boxing and promoter Eddie Hearn are simply not interested in the norm. 

With COVID-19 still forcing fans out of arenas, Hearn has taken this time to get creative. While promoters such as Bob Arum have hosted events inside of empty venues, Hearn has let out a deep yawn. 

The worldwide pandemic has allowed him to think outside of the box and come up with different ideas. 

Roughly one month ago, Hearn announced “Fight Camp.” The site in which his August events will take place will be right outside of his Matchroom headquarters. The venue has been completely revamped and now contains an outdoor ring. 

Now, only one month later, he’s placed another creative idea on the table. On August 15th, Hearn has taken over the streets of Tulsa Oklahoma. Literally.  

COVID-19 has turned streets everywhere into a desolate area. And while the roads are emptier now then ever before, the 4th and 6th intersection of S. Boston Ave, in downtown Tulsa will be buzzing due to a special event. 

Right in the center of the street, a boxing ring will be present and championship fights will be held. 

Fans will not be allowed to attend the event, and social distancing protocols will be followed, but fights will take place in the middle of the street. 

“We are taking elite World Championship boxing to the streets in Tulsa!” said Hearn on a recent Matchroom press release. “For our return in the US we wanted to stage something as unique, ambitious and spectacular as we have with Fight Camp at Matchroom HQ in the UK, and I believe that’s exactly what we have in Oklahoma. We had so many options and offers on the table for our return on August 15 from coast-to-coast. But I’m just not a believer in boxing in a studio setting. The fighters and the sport deserve more than that.”

“Tulsa shared our vision of wanting to create something special. I am thrilled to be working with the Mayor’s office, Joe Miller at the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission and Tony and Bryce Holden on bringing a thrilling fight night to the city.”

Kicking off Hearn’s outside event will be two championship showdowns as Julio Cesar Marinez (16-1, 12 KOs) puts his flyweight title on the line in the main event against number one contender McWilliams Arroyo (20-4, 15 KOs). Co main eventing will be the undisputed welterweight champion Cecilia Brækhus (36-0, 9 KOs) against Jessica McCaskill (8-2, 3 KOs).

“With explosive Mexican Martinez defending his World title against Puerto Rico’s Arroyo, the undisputed Welterweight battle between Braekhus and McCaskill, Uzbek star Giyasov and talents Ababiy, Ford and debutant Castro, this is a line-up that could stop traffic – so we’ve done exactly that!”

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Katie Taylor vs Delfine Persoon Rematch Co Main Events on Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin Card on August 22nd
Posted on 07/09/2020

By: Hans Themistode

For much of Katie Taylor’s professional career she has cruised by her opposition. However, there was one night that left the fans watching at home wondering whether or not she was the better fighter. 

When Taylor and Delfine Persoon matched up against one another in a 2019 lightweight unification, it was assumed to be an easy night’s work for Taylor. Yet after 12 grueling rounds, the thought of who actually won their contest came into question. 

Taylor’s fanbase was left in disbelief when the scorecards gave her the nod against Persoon on the night. Now, with the recent failed negotiations between Taylor and seven division world champion Amanda Serrano, Taylor has decided to settle some unfinished business. 

Taylor and Persoon will meet on August 22nd as the co main event of Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin. News of their agreement left promoter Eddie Hearn jumping out of his seat.

“Wow! What a fight – what a night! To be honest I can’t quite believe this fight has been made, I can’t give enough credit to Katie and Delfine for agreeing to do it again,” said Hearn in a recent press release. “Since their epic Fight of the Year contender at MSG last year, everyone has wanted to see this once again and now we have it. I’m very proud to stage this fight especially at such a critical time for our sport – along with Whyte vs. Povetkin August 22 will be one not to forget.”

For Taylor, her contest against Serrano was discussed as possibly the biggest fight in women’s boxing history. Yet with things falling apart, she could have easily stepped into the ring on August 22nd, against both a lesser known opponent and one who presented fewer dangers. But there would have been no fun in facing someone who most expected her to beat. So instead, Taylor is aiming to take down Persoon once again and clear up any doubt from their previous contest.

“With Amanda Serrano not taking the fight I wanted the biggest fight possible in August. I think a second Persoon fight is one that everyone wants to see,” said Taylor on a recent press release. “I’ve been looking forward to a rematch ever since the first fight and I’m delighted it’s been made. It was definitely very close the first time around, but I felt I deserved the win and I intend to leave no doubts in the rematch.”

Persoon sulked on the night of their first matchup. She believed that she had done more than enough and at the moment, should hold all four Lightweight world titles over her shoulders. Regardless of her loss the first time around though, she’s prepared to hand Taylor the first defeat of her career.

“I am ready to get the victory following the injustice last June in New York,” said Persoon on a recent press release. “Not by words but in the ring – I am ready!”

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