By Kenneth Friedman: Eddie Hearn reports that the Dave Allen vs. Christopher Lovejoy fight is now off for Saturday on the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora card.
Lovejoy (19-0, 19 KOs) is still under contract with Don King, and Hearn was unable to work a deal with him to let the fight with Allen take place.
Hearn didn’t know that Lovejoy was under contract with King when he initially began work to put the match together with Allen (18-5-2, 15 KOs).
Up until Friday, Hearn was still hoping that he could reach a deal with King to let the 36-year-old Lovejoy take the fight with Allen, but they couldn’t get a deal worked out.
Hearn now says Allen is off Saturday’s card altogether. He says he offered Allen a fight with Simon Vallily and Mark Bennett, but he wasn’t interested in facing either of those guys.
Interestingly, Hearn says the fighter that Allen was interested in fighting on short notice had a record of 2-60, but he let him know that he wouldn’t gain anything fighting someone with that type of resume.
Hearn with no luck in working deal with King
“I was calling Don King all day yesterday, and he chose to ignore my calls,” said Hearn to Boxing Social. “He can’t bring himself to do it, I think.
“He’s got a raving hunt or Lovejoy. He thinks he’s hugely disrespected, and I came up with a great deal for Don. It’s a nice pot of money, plus I’ll get Trevor Bryan out. His heavyweight, who he can’t get out.
“Yes,” Hearn said when asked if he’s given up hope of Allen fighting on the Usyk vs. Chisora card. “I don’t see any value of him fighting a journeyman—no disrespect to this fighter, who is 3 and 40.
“We talked about Simon Vallily. It’s tough to gear someone up for this kind of fight [Lovejoy], and then fight someone you really don’t want to fight, who might come [and win]. I said to Dave, ‘You can fight Simon Vallily,’ but he didn’t want to fight Simon Vallily.
“I offered him, Mark Bennett, at 8-1, but he really wasn’t interested. After that deflation, it’s hard to get yourself up. Even with Vallily and Bennett, they’re going to come with firepower. I don’t think he wants to make a mistake. I think he’s done the right thing, and we’re going to regroup.
“It doesn’t change the bottom [line], to be honest with you,” Hearn said when asked how not having Allen vs. Lovejoy on the card will change the Sky Box Office PPV card on Saturday.
“It’s funny because when we announced Dave Allen, people were going, ‘Are you joking? Why’d you put him on a pay-per-view card?’ People want Dave on the card, but it doesn’t affect the numbers in any capacity at all.
“I would have liked the fight to take place. If I had a choice, I would love to have him on, but it doesn’t change [anything with the cost of the Sky Box Office card],” said Hearn.
Well, this should be a good lesson for Hearn to check around when talking to fighters about whether they’re under contract or not. Hearn could have saved himself a lot of time and trouble if he’d asked around if Lovejoy was under a promotional contract.
As far as finding a contender that Allen can beat in the heavyweight divisions, that will require a massive amount of work on Hearn’s part. Even if he does find someone, will he be able to get that fighter’s promoter and manager to agree to fight Allen?
Eddie not happy with Lovejoy
“Everyone around him said, ‘He’ll do it,’ but he’s just fuming with Lovejoy,” said Hearn about Don King. “I’m a bit pissed off with Lovejoy, to be honest with you, because he assured us in writing that he had no managerial or promotional contracts, and he lied basically.
“He did feel like Don King hadn’t given him a fight in two years, and his contract was over. But you can’t just presume those things, especially if it’s someone as litigious as Don King.
“I’ll let him sort out his legal situation. I want to reschedule it for the Whyte-Povetkin card. I had a chat with Dave [Allen] about some opponents, and Dave was like, ‘Can I fight this guy,’ and he was like 2 and 60 or something like that and just got out.
“I told Dave, ‘to be honest with you; I don’t think it’s going to do you any favors. So let’s stay calm.’ Dave is a really intense guy. It’s a bit of a worry. When Hammer pulled out, he was phoning me eight times a day. ‘What about this one?’
“Relax. I’ll make sure he’s looked after. He’s sound, and we’ll plan again, and we’ll make sure he fights before the end of the year. At this stage, I can’t see Don King changing his mind. If he wakes up this morning and has a conscience, but it’s unlikely,” said Hearn.
The good news is that Dave Allen can potentially fight in less than a month from now on the Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin 2 card on November 21. Hearn has almost a month to find a suitable opponent for Allen, 27, to fight on that card.
Realistically, there’s a good chance that Allen fights on the Whyte-Povetkin II card, as long as he’s not too selective. It’s not going to be good for Allen if he rules out fighting good punchers like Vallily or Bennett if he’s unable to find him a fringe contender to face.
The problem with Allen facing a bottom-ranked contender is that many of those guys would likely beat him.
The bottom-ranked fringe contenders in the heavyweight division:
- Agit Kabayel
- Tom Schwarz
- Otto Wallin
- Efe Ajagba
- Frank Sanchez Faure
- Charles Martin
- Sergey Kuzmin
- Demsey McKean
- Zhang Zhilei
- Filip Hrgovic
I’m not sure that Allen beats any of those fighters other than perhaps Schwarz, and that’s only because that fighter arguably shouldn’t be ranked in the top 15.