By Matt Lieberman: Eddie Hearn claims that ESPN won’t be renewing Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s contract with their network, and his company is now “completely finished.”
Hearn got worked up, frothing at the mouth over an interview Arum made today in which he called him a braggart, “clown,” and a “joke.” He also said that Hearn has wasted DAZN’s money.
The Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn states that Top Rank hasn’t put on any big fights for ages and that last Saturday’s Devin Haney vs. Vasily Lomachenko event brought in only 150,000 buys on ESPN PPV.
Eddie states that Top Rank is behind his Matchroom company in the U.S. at the #2 spot.
Hearn says ESPN not renewing Top Rank’s contract
“I like braggadocious. I am braggadocious,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV, reacting to being labeled as such by Bob Arum of Top Rank. “What I can’t understand is that what he’s saying is that everyone in America thinks I’m a joke.
“I mean, I promote Canelo Alvarez, and we just did 50,000 [fans] in Guadalajara. I did Canelo-GGG last year, and I did Canelo-Bivol. We sold out Madison Square Garden with Katie Taylor.
“He’s just done the biggest fight he’s done in years and years and years in Haney-Lomachenko. It did 150,000 buys. Top Rank has no big fights, but I’m going to ask you a question. What was the last big fight Top Rank done?
“It’s [Haney vs. Lomachenko] not even a big fight. It did 150,000 buys, but if you want to call Haney-Loma a mega-fight, when was the last one before that? So when was the last mega-fight they did for Fury?
“Get this. You’ve got Teofimo Lopez against Josh Taylor at the theater at Madison Square Garden [in New York City]. They can’t even sell that out. It’s got 4,000 seats.
“Top Rank is completely finished! Bob Arum calls me a joke and what was it, ‘Braggadocious.’ I’m not being funny. Done, over, end of story. ESPN contract, gone!
“I said in America. They are #2 after me,” said Hearn about Top Rank being #2 to Matchroom Boxing in the U.S. “Pretty much [all the other promoters being done in the United States except for Matchroom.
“PBC, you look at the financials for PBC, done. You look at them as a business. You’ve got all their star fighters fighting once every 18 months. I’ve always said that I give props to Top Rank. In terms of promotional companies, they are a good promotional company.
“Show me the good fights that Top Rank is putting on. They’re not putting on any big fights at all. They’re trying to use their budget to make their financials look positive. They’re finished. They’re not going to get their ESPN renewal at all, and they’re not putting any mega-fights on anymore.
“Their biggest fight of the year was Haney-Lomachenko. 150,000 buys, and next up is Teofimo-Josh Taylor at the theater. They can’t even sell that out. It’s 4,000 seats. We’ve got Edgar Berlanga out-selling them.
“Bob Arum is the saltiest man on the planet, saltier than salty. One thing I do like about Bob Arum is that he can completely slate me, as he’s done there and he could phone me tonight and ask to do a deal with me, and I’d have no problem doing it.
“I respect Bob Arum because he’s a survivor, but he is done, over!
“He was,” said Hearn when told that Haney said that Arum was asleep during his fight with Lomachenko. “Bob is 93; he’s a legend. He’s going to fall asleep during fights. He’s 92 years old. He’s a legend in that respect. Listen, I won’t be here at that age. He’s still working. It’s amazing what he’s doing.
“But do you think Bob Arum understands the boxing audience? Do you think he understands how the younger generation digests content, the way they use devices, the way they use streaming, and what they want? No, but he is a promotional legend.
“He did ‘Thrilla in Manilla.’ He did ‘Rumble in the Jungle,’ but you’re a big moronic if you start saying I’m a joke. Look at what I’m doing. I’m out-performing you. If I’m a joke, what are you? Number 2,” said Hearn when asked what Arum is.
Arum slams Hearn
“Among the boxing people in the United States, Eddie is a joke. He’s really a joke, a clown,” said Bob Arum to iFL TV about Eddie Hearn. “He’s taken the DAZN money and had a big campfire with the money.
“Even Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy on the same platform has outshone Eddie. So I don’t take Eddie very seriously, but I don’t take any promoter that is so braggadocious and really doesn’t deliver seriously, but in Eddie’s own mind, he’s the greatest thing that ever lived,” said Arum.