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Eddie Hearn wants to replace sanctioning bodies

Anthony Joshua, Alexander Usyk, Eddie Hearn, Tyson Fury boxing photo and news image

By Jim Maltzman: Eddie Hearn that this is a critical period for boxing now, and the sport can no longer be hamstrung by the governing bodies. Hearn would like to say goodbye to the governing bodies altogether, which would open the door for major fights to take place.

A lot of money could be made by the promoters and the fighters if they can replace or permanently remove the sanctioning bodies

There would have to be some way of rating the fighters, though, because boxing would be a mess without champions and a ranking system.

Hearn sounds like he’s fed up with dealing with the governing bodies, and the sanctioning fees that the champions have to pay them.

The promoters like Hearn are putting a lot of money into staging events, and it doesn’t work for them to have the four sanctioning bodies seemingly working against them.

It’s almost impossible to make huge money when a champion is forced to defend against a mandatory challenger that has zero popularity and very little talent.

IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin’s recent title defense against mandatory Kamil Szeremeta is a perfect example of a belt-holder defending a fighter that brought nothing to the table. That was just one example.

Champions have to deal with the yearly mandatory requirements by the sanctioning bodies, and frequently the fighters are selected have no business for a world title.

Boxing can’t be restricted by sanctioning bodies

“I’ve been speaking to a lot of governing bodies in the last couple of months because now is a pivotal time in terms of belts and politics,” said Hearn to Toe 2 Toe Podcast about the sanctioning bodies.

Anthony Joshua, Alexander Usyk, Eddie Hearn, Tyson Fury boxing photo and news image

“We cannot afford in boxing right now to be restricted by the rules and the requirements of governing bodies. It’s hard enough as it is.

“Big fights are what we need in boxing, but at the same time, you can’t just disregard a mandatory challenger like Oleksandr Usyk and say, ‘Sorry, mate, you got to wait. You boxed your final eliminator.’

“I spoke to [WBO president] Paco Valcarcel. I said, ‘Look, Paco, you’re going to have a tough spot because probably in a couple of weeks, I’m going to write to you saying, great news, we’ve made one of the biggest fights [Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson fury] in boxing history.

“‘We’ve made the biggest fight in boxing. It’s the undisputed heavyweight world champion, and it’s between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. Paco, my old son, are you onboard?’

“And he’s going to go, ‘Ah, have you spoken to Usyk?’ I’m going to go, ‘Not yet. I’m asking you [to let Joshua bypass his WBO mandatory Usyk]. Do you want to sanction this fight [Joshua vs. Fury] or not?’

“He’s either going to go, ‘Yes, I do. On you go’ or ‘I can’t really until you talk to Usyk.’ Then I got to go talk to Usyk,” Hearn said.

The pandemic has made it difficult to stage shows, and the governing bodies haven’t helped the situation.

Hearn is unhappy with the World Boxing Organization wanting his fighter Anthony Joshua to defend his WBO heavyweight title against Oleksandr Usyk in 2021. If Joshua agrees to face Usyk, the fight will get in the way of his huge unification match against Tyson Fury.

Hearn wants to keep titles together for Joshua – Fury

“Can you imagine that conversation when I go to Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua and go, ‘Right, to keep all the belts on the line, I know you got to pay your three percent to the governing bodies,'” said Hearn.

Anthony Joshua, Alexander Usyk, Eddie Hearn, Tyson Fury boxing photo and news image

“So that’s capped at 300 grand, and that’s 300 grand a piece across the four belts. That’s $1.2 million. Actually, throw in the IBO. That’s $1.5 million in total; you both individually got to pay the governing bodies.

“Oh, and now Oleksandr Usyk wants a couple of million as well. So are you alright, lads? Just stick a couple of million out of your own pockets.’

“They’re going to turn around and go, ‘What? Don’t worry about it. This fight is bigger than the belts; this fight is the undisputed. AJ, I’ve said it a million times, he wants to be the undisputed champion.

“But isn’t this fight something bigger than that? Isn’t this fight the answer to all our questions? Who is the best? Who is the baddest man on the planet?

“And who is the best heavyweight on the planet? At some point, we have to take charge of this sport and say, ‘No more.’

“Firstly, I will do everything I can to keep the belts on the line for [for the Joshua vs. Fury fight], because for me, that is the glory.

“Seeing AJ standing in the ring, covered with every bit of silverware, you can win in boxing. That’s always been the aim he had when he turned professional,” said Hearn.

It sounds costly for the champions to have to pay sanctioning fees to the governing bodies.

With huge expenses, it’s hard to believe the promotional companies haven’t already looked for a lower-cost alternative for a single sanctioning body.

Usyk should fight Joe Joyce for interim WBO

“Once they [Joshua – Fury] fight for the undisputed championship, if the belts get fragmented, so be it,” said Hearn. “But I would love just to see that moment of AJ being the undisputed champion.

Anthony Joshua, Alexander Usyk, Eddie Hearn, Tyson Fury boxing photo and news image

“You could say to Usyk, ‘Take the fight with Joe Joyce for the interim [WBO belt], and after that fight, it becomes the full championship.’

“One thing about Usyk is, he’s a classy guy, a boxing guy through and through. He will see actually, even in his position, he will see that Fury – AJ is so good for the sport of boxing.

“‘So Oleksandr Usyk, do you want to stop the undisputed world heavyweight championship fight. Actually, the fans won’t like it if he does it as well, and he’s a boxing man through and through.

“We can’t just disrespect him and say, ‘Sorry, mate, you just have to wait.’ We have to come up with something, and the answer I see is for him to fight Joe Joyce,” Hearn said.

This idea by Hearn to try and keep WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk happy sounds good, but will he agree to it?

Usyk fighting a dangerous guy like Joe Joyce for money that would be considerably less than what he would get challenging Anthony Joshua sounds like a bad idea. I mean, it seems like an idea that Usyk won’t agree with.

If Hearn guaranteed that the winner of the Usyk vs. Joyce fight could face the Joshua vs. Fury winner, it might be agreeable to those two.

There’s no way that Joshua or Fury would say yes to that. Also, there no money in a fight with Usyk, and the risk would be high.

Fury isn’t giving Wilder another chance

“He’s not too concerned; he feels like the contract is over,” Hearn said about the mediation process between Fury and Deontay Wilder over their contractual rematch.

Anthony Joshua, Alexander Usyk, Eddie Hearn, Tyson Fury boxing photo and news image

“There is an arbitration process going on in that respect. I don’t see that as an issue, and if there is, Fury has to give Wilder some kind of compensation to take these two fights [with Joshua].

“I can’t talk on behalf of Tyson Fury, but the vibe I’m getting from everything I’ve seen on social media is, he ain’t giving Deontay Wilder another chance or shot ever after he said what he said.

“The accusations about him being a cheat, tampering with his gloves, people putting stuff in his drink. That was actually even more bizarre than 2020 itself,” Hearn said.

If Fury is serious about being done with Wilder permanently, that’s going to be interesting to see what happens if the mediation process goes against him. Will Fury fight Wilder a third time if the arbitrator orders him to?

Hearn talks about saying bye to governing bodies

This could be the moment,” said Hearn about his vision of invalidating by four major governing bodies.

Anthony Joshua, Alexander Usyk, Eddie Hearn, Tyson Fury boxing photo and news image

“I don’t like to threaten governing bodies, but at the moment, the people putting the money on the line, the people putting the risks on the line outside of the people that are putting the real risks, which is the fighters, is the promoters.

“We’re putting the money up for the shows, we’re taking the risks, we’re making the losses. The governing bodies turn up saying, ‘Thank you very much.’

“With the governing bodies, we have to be a little bit careful because people are losing their patience. I speak to other promoters all the time.

“There is a real movement with people spending their money with governing bodies saying at one point do we turn around and say, Alright, it’s a bold move, bye.

“Say there was a movement where people said, you know what we’re actually going to do now is either create our own belt or leave the politics behind and just make great fights,” said Hearn.

This would be the perfect time for Matchroom, Top Rank, and Golden Boy Promotions to collectively walk away from the governing bodies.

In the short term, they could focus on the Ring rankings system as the main method for rating the fighters.

A lot of change ahead

“That’s a tough conversation to have with a fighter because your dream growing up was to always wear the green and gold belt or the IBF belt,” said Hearn.

Anthony Joshua, Alexander Usyk, Eddie Hearn, Tyson Fury boxing photo and news image

“You saw it on the Ring Magazine, you saw it with Leonard, Hagler, and Hearns. Now that could evaporate into thin air.

“Can you imagine being a young fighter being on the verge of fighting for a world title, and a promoter comes to you and says, ‘Just to let you know, we’re making a stand now with [world title belts].’

“You box through that era where you might not get that part of history. For me, I like the governing bodies and I love the belts, I love the history, I love the glory, but I feel like this little period during the pandemic is a real switching movement where we’re going to see a lot of change,” said Hearn.

Without the creation of a new sanctioning body that the major promotional companies agree on, it could prove to be difficult to disempower the four firmly entrenched governing bodies.

Some promoters might resist the idea of invalidating the four sanctioning bodies, particularly the ones that have more than one fighter in a position to hold a title.

Hearn wants Whyte or Chisora to fight Wilder

“I think there’s only one fight for him, and that’s Deontay Wilder,” said Hearn when asked who should Whyte face if he beats Povetkin in their rematch. “I think Dillian Whyte against Deontay Wilder is one of the biggest fights in boxing.

Anthony Joshua, Alexander Usyk, Eddie Hearn, Tyson Fury boxing photo and news image

“Absolutely, he’s fit, he’s ready, and he wants to fight again,” said Hearn when asked if Dereck Chisora still figures into the heavyweight landscape. “I don’t know, maybe Deontay Wilder against Dereck Chisora.

Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) might be cool to the idea of him facing Chisora or Whyte next rather than getting the lucrative trilogy fight with Tyson Fury.

The money that Deontay can make fighting Fury would considerably more than what he’d getting slogging it out Whyte of Chisora.

Wilder may be forced to fight guys like Whyte and Chisora at some point if Fury chooses to turn a deaf ear to him for the remainder of his career. There are only a small handful of heavyweights in the division that Wilder can make money fighting, and Whyte Chisora are among that select group.

 




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