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Hearn makes offer to Mikey Garcia for Matchroom USA/DAZN

Image: Hearn makes offer to Mikey Garcia for Matchroom USA/DAZN

By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn says he’s made a great offer to sign Mikey Garcia to his Matchroom Boxing USA/DAZN stable of fighters, and he says he’ll accept the offer if he’s wise. Garcia, 30, is still a promotional free agent since leaving Top Rank years ago. Since he parted ways with his former promotional company, Garcia has been working with Al Haymon.

If Hearn can ink Garcia to his Matchroom USA stable, he’ll have him fighting on his DAZN cards. This is a new subscription service Hearn has made a deal with to stream fights in the U.S. It’s a $10 month streaming service. Garcia would be taking a gamble in signing with Hearn though, as his fights likely would be seen by fewer boxing fans due to many fans being reluctant to pay extra each month to watch streaming fights on their computer. Garcia is trying to become a pay-per-view star in the U.S. If he signs with Hearn for three to four years, he may ultimately be ruining his chances of ever becoming a star because his fights might be seen by fewer boxing fans than if he were to stick with an established cable giant like Showtime.

“I’ve made him another offer since his fight,” Hearn said to ”A great offer. He’s a very smart guy. If he’s smart enough, he’ll take our offer. But, we’ll see. He’s definitely a fighter we want on DAZN. We want all the great pound-for-pound fighters on DAZN and he’s one of them.”

Mikey would like to fight IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. later this year in a fight that will likely take place on Showtime pay-per-view. However, Hearn doesn’t like the Garcia vs. Spence fight. If Mikey signs with Hearn’s Matchroom USA stable, then a fight between him and Spence probably won’t happen in 2018. Hearn has other ideas for Garcia, which he’s not saying. Since whoever Hearn would match against Garcia would need to agree to fight on DAZN instead of networks like HBO, ESPN and Showtime, it rules out a lot of top guys like Spence, Vasyl Lomachenko, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Regis Prograis, and Keith Thurman. The guys that Hearn will almost surely be matching Mikey Garcia are his Matchroom Boxing stable fighters Jessie Vargas, Luke Campbell, Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns. In other words, it would be mismatches for Mikey on DAZN, which won’t be seen by many boxing fans in the U.S. Hearn is rumored to be interested in matching Mikey Garcia against Jessie Vargas on DAZN. That’s a an inferior fight compared to Mikey vs. Errol Spence, but Hearn doesn’t have Spence with his Matchroom stable and he’s unlikely to ever have him.

The 29-year-old Vargas is headlining Hearn’s kickoff DAZN card on October 6 against Thomas Dulorme at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, New York. That’s a disappointing fight for a headliner on DAZN. Vargas has some boxing fans, but Hearn is making a mistake in matching him against Dulorme, as U.S fans aren’t excited at all about that fight. Dulorme isn’t a major player at 147 after being beaten by Terence Crawford, Luis Abregu and Yordenis Ugas. Putting Mikey in against Vargas would arguably be poison for boxing fans. If Mikey signs with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing/DAZN, he would be looking at a future of fighting Vargas, Dulorme, Campbell and Crolla type of fighters. I could see Mikey’s popularity plummeting like a skyrocket. Instead of Hearn getting someone who would pull in massive amounts of boxing fans to subscribe to DAZN, I think it would be diminishing returns for him.

I hate to say it but Mikey would wind up hidden away from the casual fans in America, and seen only by the most the ultra-hardcore diehard fans. Yeah, Mikey will probably get decent money to ink with Hearn, but it’ll come at a cost in terms of his visibility or lack thereof. Mikey’s fights would be seen by only a tiny handful of fans in the U.S. It would be the same thing we’re seeing with Lomachenko and Terence Crawford, who fight on the $5 per month streaming ESPN+ app. Not a lot of boxing fans are interested in paying to watch fights on their computers. They prefer to see them on their TV.

Hearn doubts that the money will be there for the Mikey vs. Spence fight on Showtime. Hearn doesn’t see a guarantee being given to Mikey by Showtime. Hearn isn’t saying what kind of plan he has for Garcia if he were to ink with his Matchroom stable, but you can count on the matches he would be looking at is against British fighters that the U.S casual boxing fans have never heard of like Campbell, Crolla and Burns.

Garcia might end up regretting it if he signs with Hearn. If Mikey winds up hidden from the U.S boxing public on Hearn’s invisible DAZN cards, which will only be purchased by the ultra-hardcore fans in America, then there’s no way he’s going to become a star.

Hearn recently signed these fighters to his Matchroom stable:

Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller

Jessie Vargas

Daniel Roman

Artur Beterbiev

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