While UFC President Dana White has been butting heads with several boxing promoters for years, the coronavirus pandemic has ramped things up. With White and the UFC holding events in Jacksonville, with methods to combat the coronavirus, the boxing world is looking to follow suit.
One person who White believes can help lead boxing is Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn.
Speaking on The Pug and Copp Boxing Show for The Athletic, White praised the business side of Hearn, who collaborates with DAZN to put on events. While some are looking to put on fights, White believes only Hearn could be the one to get it right.
“Things have changed a lot and I really need to focus my business, but [boxing’s problems] can be fixed, and Eddie Hearn might be the guy to do,” White stated, via Sky Sports. “When this pandemic is over, the strongest will survive. I don’t know who it’s going to be.
“Al Haymon is a brilliant guy, I like Al a lot, but the guy who is in a position of serious strength right now is Eddie Hearn. Eddie has some of the top guys in the world putting on these big heavyweight fights. I think Eddie is doing it right. When Eddie puts on a fight, he actually makes money. A lot of these other guys aren’t making money.”
White got involved in boxing when Floyd Mayweather faced Conor Mcgregor in 2017. He has recently opened up about Zuffa Boxing, although nothing has seemed to pick up regarding that venture.
The process to get to UFC 249 was a long and tiring one. White made sure to provide testing for athletes. A rumor going around was that fighters, employees, and media had to sign a contract that stated they couldn’t talk in a negative light about the UFC’s methods. Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza has been the first to attack White on that. Bob Arum has also criticized White, even though he is looking to have events for Top Rank by the summer.
White has since talked down on Espinoza during media scrums and stated he and Arum are on the brink of failure. One thing he can praise Hearn for is the lack of attacks on him and his company. A tough businessman, Hearn is the one White can appreciate the most.
“We all hate each other, we’re always talking about each other, Eddie doesn’t really play that game,” White went on to say. “Eddie is a pretty smooth dude and level-headed and it looks like he’s running a good business, I’m not looking at his books, I don’t know what his books look like, but it looks like he’s running a pretty good business.”
Hearn has been planning for events to take place for Matchroom, with and without crowds. Both could end up learning from one another as the new normal comes into play.