By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says the reason the Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis fight was placed on DAZN pay-per-view for December 9th is that the fighters “want a lot of money,” and that was the “only model” that worked to get the fight done.
Hearn states that the 24-year-old undisputed lightweight champion Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) just beat Vasily Lomachenko last May on ESPN PPV, and now he’s moving up to 140 to challenge WBC light welterweight champion Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs).
Subscribers to DAZN are understandably upset about it, as the subscription price was recently increased to $224.99 in the U.S. for a 12-month period if one pays all at once.
For that price, fans expect to be able to watch fights like Haney vs. Prograis as part of their yearly subscription, especially given that neither of these guys are true PPV fighters, and they haven’t beaten elite-level fighters.
Haney’s recent win over the much smaller & older 35-year-old Lomachenko was a controversial one, with fans believing Loma should have won.
Devin was booed out of the arena after the fight, and it made him look poor in the eyes of the boxing public that he didn’t offer Lomachenko a rematch.
“In America, not not in the UK, and I just think a little bit of a sign of the times. I think it’s a little bit a sign of the times,” said Eddie Hearn to Seconds Out Youtube channel when told about the criticism from boxing fans in reaction to the Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis fight being placed on DAZN PPV on December 9th.
“You see, I don’t know if it’s going to get announced, but the rumor of Showtime leaving boxing. It’s an expensive sport. You know these fighters want a lot of money, and sometimes the only model that works is that model,” said Hearn.
With more & more fights being placed on PPV, what’s ultimately going to happen is fewer fans will watch the fights, and boxing will rapidly shrink to the point where the huge purses that the fighters are demanding will be impossible to give to them.
“Devin Haney just boxed on pay-per-view, ESPN pay-per-view against Lomachenko, beat him. So, I always understand the criticism of pay-per-view,” said Hearn.
“So one ever wants to pay the money, but what they will get is a fantastic matchup, one of the best in the sport, and I think it’ll do well.
“I think the build-up will be great. There’s already a good rivalry and intensity between those two, so that was the way to make it work,” said Hearn.