Eddie Hearn says poor match-making will “kill the sport”
By Allan Fox: Eddie Hearn is concerned that the poor match-making being done by promoters could lead to boxing being slowed killed.
The reluctance that we see from the world champions in boxing to take on other champions is off-putting and clearly hurting the sport.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn points out that the top fighters aren’t facing the other top guys, and the fans aren’t seeing the compelling fights.
The recent talk of IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin choosing to wait until December 31st before he fights again, Hearn doesn’t understand that move.
He would like GGG to face WBO champ Demetrius Andrade before taking on WBA belt holder Ryota Murata on December 31st.
Hearn doesn’t understand WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo’s decision to fight Juan Montiel next rather than taking on Andrade in a unification match, which would help both of their careers.
Hearn wants to learn from Paul-Askren event
“It was entertainment, wasn’t it?” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV in reacting to last Saturday’s Jake Paul vs. Bena Askren fight on Triller pay-per-view.
“In many ways, it was good for boxing. One way I love it is it makes everyone buck their ideas up. This, whatever you want to call it [celebrity boxing], is doing good numbers.
“Not this,” said Hearn when told that he did the Logan Paul vs. KSI celebrity match in 2019.
“I did a couple of world champion fights on the card and Logan Paul against KSI, which is a whole another level of crazy. You’ve got Snoop Dog with a blunt or whatever it is [last Saturday at the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren card], and you’ve got Oscar De La Hoya, who is on Mars commentating.
“It’s light entertainment. Do you understand what I’m saying about boxing? We have to make sure that boxing continues to thrive. I almost feel like we’re in competition with it.
“And I don’t see that as proper boxing. I see that as entertainment. It’s easy on the eye,” said Hearn about the celebrity boxing that Jake Paul is doing.
The way for Hearn to learn from Jake Paul’s match with Askren is by following these moves:
- Hire better commentators that are more casual and entertaining
- Push the fighters to use social media on a daily basis to market their fights
- Set up better fights that the boxing public is interested in seeing
- Coach the fighters on how to more entertaining outside of the ring
- Focus on the trash-talking between the fighters to hype the events. The fighters need to learn from the theater production that one sees when watching WWE events. The organizers for those events do an excellent job of creating drama. Having well-coached fighters helps.
Poor match-making can “kill the sport”
“We have to make sure our sport, our brand needs to thrive, but you only do that by making the big fights and making the fights that people want to see,” said Hearn.
“That’s why I get frustrated about Charlo against Andrade. This is why I get even more frustrated about Errol Spence against Terence Crawford. What are you doing?
“We cannot afford s*** fights where fighters get a fortune but don’t deliver for the broadcasters because they will kill the sport. So these kinds of things will put more pressure on us to deliver numbers, to deliver content.
“Jake Paul is an unbelievable self-promoter. What has he got? 20 million Instagram [followers]? Did you see how hard he pushed that fight [with Ben Askren]? All day, every day.
“He did an amazing job, a super-smart kid. But this is a guy that understands content; he knows how to push numbers.
“I did KSI against Logan Paul; I’ve seen the numbers, mate. I know the world, but I want to stick to our world.
“I’m not saying I’ll never rule out doing that ever again, but I want to stick to our world and show how great boxing is. But we only do that by showing great fights,” said Hearn.
The only thing Hearn can do is apply leadership by example and hope that the other promoters follow him. So if Hearn wants to have the best fights in boxing, he needs to start with his own promotional company.
Last weekend’s fight between WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade and Liam Williams wasn’t a great one.
Williams took a truckload of punishment for 12 rounds, and the only reason it was competitive is that Andrade got tired of using Liam as a punching bag.
Obviously, this was a mandatory defense for Andrade, but it would have made sense for him to ask the World Boxing Organization for an exception to take on a bigger name.
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