Hearn wants Khan-Broner and Ward-Bellew on DAZN
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn has reportedly named two big fights he believes he has a good chance of making between Adrien Broner and Amir Khan and Andre Ward and Tony Bellew for his streaming platform DAZN in the U.S.
Hearn signed an 8-year, $1 billion deal streaming deal with DAZN this week for 32 fights a year. 16 of the fights will be UK based and the other 16 in the U.S. It’s not being called PPV for some reason, but with fans having to pay each month, you can argue that it is PPV. Hearn says he’ll put on 4 blockbuster fights each year. Those fights will presumably be on PPV.
It’s possible Hearn will make Khan vs. Broner and Ward vs. Bellew on PPV in the States. The American boxing fans don’t know who Bellew is though, so that’ll be a very tough sell on Hearn’s part. Ward isn’t a PPV fighter. We saw that in his last 2 fights against Sergey Kovalev, which brought in less than huge numbers on HBO PPV. Ward fighting Bellew on PPV would probably be a disaster in the States. The fight might sell in the UK, but not in America. Bellew is an unknown with the casual fans.
Andre Ward has already said that he’s got a lot of things going on with his career outside of the ring, and he wishes Bellew a lot of luck. If Hearn is going to get Ward to fight Bellew, he’s probably going to need to throw a lot of money at him. The question is will it be worth it? It would seem like Hearn’s money would be better spent getting a relevant fighter that isn’t retired like Adonis Stevenson, Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev or Sergey Kovalev if he’s looking to pick a fighter from the 175 lb. division to fight Bellew.
Since Bellew is now fighting at heavyweight, Hearn should probably be looking more in the direction of finding someone from that division to fight him or at cruiserweight. With cruiserweight champions Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev tied up fighting each other, Hearn should sign Mairis Briedis, Krzystof Glowacki or Yunier Dorticos to fight Bellew. A fight between one of them and Bellew would go over big in the UK. I can’t say it would do much for the boxing fans in the U.S.
The casual fans in the States have not seen much of these fighters in U.S television. It would probably be a waste of Hearn’s time to match any of them against Bellew for DAZN in the States. Bellew vs. Ward is a horrible fight. Hearn needs an expert from the U.S to work with him to let him know which fights will sell and which won’t, because he doesn’t seem to understand that the fights that he considers big, Ward vs. Bellew and Broner vs. Khan, probably won’t do well in the U.S. Broner is arguably a badly faded fighter, who is on his legs. Broner has come up empty in his last two fights against Jessie Vargas and Mikey Garcia. Broner lost to Garcia and was held to a 12 round draw against Vargas in a fight that he appeared to lose.
”Our plan is to make DAZN the home of boxing and with 32 big fight nights already confirmed from the U.S and UK, we are nicely on our way,” Hearn said via the dailystar.co.uk.
Khan vs. Broner would be a good summer fight, but it’s not the great fight that Hearn thinks it would be. It would be better for Hearn to be putting Khan with a fighter that is actually on top of his game, like Errol Spence Jr. There’s nothing wrong with Hearn’s idea of matching Khan against Broner if this was 2012, back when the American fighter’s career was at its zenith.
Broner has lost too many times in the last five years, and he’s also looked terrible in fights that he should have lost to Jessie Vargas and Adrian Granados. Khan-Broner is a fight that makes Khan look better than he actually is. Wouldn’t it be better for Hearn to give the boxing world a clearer picture of Khan’s talent by matching him against a top 140 or 147 pound fighter?
Broner is a light welterweight now. Hearn should be trying to match Khan against Regis Prograis, because he’s considered to be the best fighter at 140 in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. If not Prograis, then WBC light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez. He’s not as well known as Broner, to be sure, but he’s going to be around as a top fighter for a while. Broner is no longer a top guy in my opinion. Hearn needs to put Khan in with the fighter from this era instead looking to match him against a fighter whose best days are five years behind him like Broner.
What Hearn needs now is the big enough fights to attract the American boxing fans to pay each month to subscribe to the monthly service. The pressure is now on Hearn to deliver the fights to the fans in the U.S to make this deal work. It’s unclear if there’s an escape clause in the contract for DAZN in case the fights fail to bring in big revenue. Hearn obviously needs to sign a massive amount of American boxers for him to be able to lure the U.S fans to subscribe each month for the service.
Hearn wants to sign Erol Spence, Adrien Broner, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Jarrett Hurd and Deontay Wilder. In other words, Hearn wants to sign guys that currently don’t have a promoter. Hearn isn’t going after top fighters that are still with promoters. He can’t do that obviously. If Hearn fails to sign those guys to his stable, it’s going to be very hard for him to find success with his new subscription service. The U.S boxing fans are probably not going to want to pay out a ton of money to see Hearn’s fighters Daniel Jacobs, Jarrell Miller, Khan and Kell Brook. Those are probably not big enough names and talents for U.S boxing fans to justify subscribing to Hearn’s monthly service.