With a ‘Back To Business’ banner hanging in the backdrop for Amir Khan, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn speaks to FightHype about Amir Khan’s signing and how it all came together...
“You thought you’d never see it. And probably I thought I’d never see it neither. But I’ve always thought to myself ‘you know, Amir Khan should join Matchroom and Sky.’ It’s a great move. And sometimes great business makes great sense. And we’ve have our differences over the years, but we’ve always got on personally and this is a great business move for all of us.
“It’s a major coup for Matchroom Boxing UK, Matchroom Boxing USA, and I believe it’s a great coup, and a great plan of action, for Amir Khan. Back on Sky, premier platform in the UK, back with us, back to the big fights, and, you know, he wants to get straight in at the deep end.
“April 21st, Echo Arena, Liverpool. Great fight city, it’s gonna be a huge card up there. First time boxing in the UK in five years and his profile, particularly through ‘I’m a Celebrity’ is higher than it’s ever been and whatever you think of Amir Khan — he’s an extremely exciting fighter. And I think what the show showed, in ‘I’m a celebrity,’ is he’s actually a decent bloke as well. But sometimes, as we all have, made some PR disasters but I think people are getting to see the real Amir Khan now and I think one thing you know is that he’s gonna give you entertainment every time he fights.
“We’ve been talking for months, but actually it moved very quickly. We were close [to a deal] for a while...and then really we agreed [to] this deal on a weekend...One thing that sort of stood out was when he talked about boxing and fighting again, I could see it in his eyes. I mean we were talking about ‘I’m a celebrity’ and the strawberries and like the snakes and stuff like that, and he’s on all these huge morning shows — and then when we started talking about fighting the eyes changed, you know? It’s like he’s got hunger, and I like working with fighters who’ve got hunger.
“Listen, everybody wants to make a pound, everybody wants to make as much money as possible, but one thing you can’t take away is hunger and desire. And if you have that, and you have the skills of Amir Khan, you still got a lot to offer in the sport of boxing. So that’s what impressed me. He wants to win world titles, he wants to prove people wrong, he wants to be in the big fights, and that excites me...I’m very, very happy with this deal.
“We’re gonna box on April 21st. I’ve sent him a list of like a dozen names that him and Virgil [Hunter] will look at. Already it appears he wants to have a proper fight. You know, you’d almost forgive him for having a relatively straightforward comeback, but he want to be in a decent level. It’s not Adrien Broner, of course, but that could come in August/September, that fight. Kell Brook could come in the second fight. The plan initially is that the big one comes in the third fight, and we’ll see, but anything can change.”