Eddie Hearn Urges Boxing Reform: ‘Fighter Purses Are Out Of Control’

Eddie Hearn has called on his fellow promoters to improve the standard of their boxing shows moving forward.

The comments come in the aftermath of the news that Showtime will leave boxing by the end of the year. This was despite the fact that the network had arguably the best year in recent memory. The network had the highest-grossing fight of 2023 through Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia. Meanwhile, the network managed to have three fights that exceeded the $20 million gate. And in doing so, they had mega fights, including Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford, as well as Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo. But for all the success that had come, Hearn made it clear that fighters’ demands were getting out of control, particularly with the big purses that were being requested.

“Fighter purses are out of control, and they are not delivering on the value that the price represents. Boxing rights are very expensive. When you get it right, boxing is a huge success and rates well, delivers pay-per-view events, and arenas are full. Boxing as a business has to deliver more value to the broadcasters so they stay in the sport. The purses continue to increase, and the advisors and the managers continue to want easy fights that don’t deliver.

“We [the promoters] are the weak ones because sometimes we let them do it. We will be parting ways with fighters because some of them don’t deliver commercially on the numbers they want and some of them are not prepared to take the fights that we believe they should be taking,” Hearn

Nevertheless, the presence of Saudi Arabia in boxing has now increased the potential for fighters to earn more. Tyson Fury is reportedly expected to make around $200 million for the bouts with Francis Ngannou and Oleksandr Usyk. While that may be the case, not all fighters can command such a figure. And that may ultimately damage the sport if the biggest fights cannot get made due to disagreements over purses. And there is no getting away from that.

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