Promoter Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing have attempted to break into the U.S. market within the past year, and he’s hoping the move will benefit from Matchroom’s broadcast deal with DAZN, as well as the signing of talent like IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs.
In a recent interview with FightHub, Hearn responded to comments from Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who claimed that Hearn didn’t know a thing about promoting boxing in America. Hearn’s father, Barry, has been in the business with Arum for years. The younger Hearn said his dad told him the reason for Arum’s comments was because that Eddie Hearn is doing something Barry Hearn never did — invade Arum’s territory.
So what I am is a big threat to Bob, but I have so much respect for him as a promoter — and as a man at 87 years old I find it hard to fire back at him too much.
“Being around Bob the other day at the press conference, I learned a lot,” Hearn said. “I’ve been in the American market for six months, and he’s been in the American market for, I don’t know, 40 years. So he’s probably right, I probably do know [expletive] about promoting in America compared to him. But you can’t just come here in six months and expect to know the world.”
Hearn then fired his own shot at Arum and his promotion, targeting how a March 23 Top Rank card on ESPN featuring heavyweight Kubrat Pulev had the lowest viewership rating since the start of a deal between the two sides. He adds that Arum fight be under a lot of pressure due to other factors, such as DAZN and the UFC entering the fray with its ESPN+ deal.
I mean if you want to get ultra critical of Bob, I think his shows lately have been absolutely dreadful.
“One thing I have to correct him on — he talks about…’Joshua’s got to leave Hearn, leave DAZN.’ Joshua is not with DAZN,” Hearn said. “He has a fight by fight deal I believe his future will be with DAZN, but at the moment we’re being very careful to make sure that those career-defining fights are available to Joshua without network obstruction. And I will make sure that is the case. And the same can’t be said about Tyson Fury.
“I actually think Bob’s under a lot of pressure from ESPN, and also the UFC, because the UFC are driving all the numbers on ESPN+, not Bob Arum. And actually he’s under pressure because he doesn’t have any big fights for Tyson Fury.”
Quotes via Bad Left Hook