Back to back fight weeks in NY, and large-scale shows at the same venue means that Brit promoter Eddie Hearn is in for a hard lift, we think, regarding his Saturday night card at Barclays Center.
The affable deal-maker, who handles Brit icon Anthony Joshua, the heavyweight industry-leader, also promotes Daniel Jacobs. The 31-year-old Brooklyn boxer headlines the slate of fights Saturday night at Barclays, where he will fight 26-0 Pole Maciej Sulecki. Jacobs’ trainer, Andre Rozier, told me Friday that Jacobs (33-2) is gunning for a buzz-y stoppage, and wants to offer up an exclamation point showing in a tango that will run on HBO.
I messaged with Hearn on Monday early afternoon, checking in to see when he was touching down in the States. He took note of a Tweet I’d posted an hour before, which spoke of tix sales for the Jacobs card. A tix expert I know said sales were sluggish, maybe under 3,000 so far.
“BTW fake news re tickets for Saturday..it’s not flying but we are definitely past 3k in sales! Hope for a good fight week,” Hearn told me.
He’s thinking in the ball park of 7,000 butts in seats Saturday, he said.
Barclays enjoyed a good gate on April 21, with the Adrien Broner topped card, which featured Gervonta Davis, Jermall Charlo and Heather Hardy as well. Almost 14,000 butts were in seats, with a certain portion comped.
“We had April 28 booked for awhile but it’s a busy time for boxing in NY. I’m pleased with the sales, we’ve done significantly better than the last show (in November, at Nassau Coliseum) but obviously it’s tough coming off a show the week before,” Hearn continued.
We touched on the differences in promoting a “gentleman” like Jacobs versus a Broner, who is a different animal entirely, prone to acts of random tomfoolery, sometimes even ones that step over the law and order line.
“You say Danny is not a beef guy but it’s there for sure, he’s just a greater role model and an ambassador than a ‘beef guy’ — that’s the responsibility he has in the sport and that’s great but if you want to cross him then, as I say, the ‘Brownsville’ will come to it — we saw that with Arias and we saw that with Charlo recently,” Hearn said. “That’s a fight that would spark for sure.”
Noted; Jermall Charlo vs Danny Jacobs would be much anticipated, even more than the Jacobs versus Peter Quillin young gun vs young gun scrap at Barclays two years ago, because Jacobs is now an established featured attraction.
Hearn offered insight into his Saturday card, and shared what he perceives are the value bullet points. “We have such a deep card on Saturday and with so many different types of fights, nationalities and cultures. Danny’s fight is now to become the WBA mandatory for GGG and we expect a tough one — we also have an important heavyweight match up between Jarrell Miller and Johan Duhaupas. We have Katie Taylor, who I believe is the greatest female fighter on the planet attempting to unify the world titles and the debut of Kazakh Olympic gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov. Keep your eyes peeled for Shojahon Ergashev too, 11 wins (11 Kos) in his first title fight. I expect some of the guys from last weekend to be floating around, I’ve heard Charlo is coming so that should be fun.”
He hinted too of a forthcoming announcement that I’d heard could be a Matchroom streaming service. “Re my announcement that comes in a few weeks and it’s going to break some hearts,” was all he’d offer in that realm.
And Hearn will be attending to some other matters as well on this fight week.
“I’m seeing Al (Haymon) and Shirley (aka Shelly Finkel) on Thursday and hopefully we can try and make some progress on Joshua v Wilder. It’s definitely the fight we want next and I have been very pro-active in trying to make it happen. They have to understand that Joshua is a huge draw in comparison to Wilder but we also respect that Wilder has what we want. I just don’t see where Wilder goes without taking this fight — fingers crossed for we can all be sensible and make the biggest fight in world boxing.”
My three cents: I root for a Jacobs to be able to grow to that fans base without having to resort to beef-generation, make no mistake. He is a role model, and it’s always harder, in this age, to get buzz that way, the “right” way. I reiterate, he is a role model and I want that building to rawk on Saturday. Oh, and he gets it too that the “good guy” manner can work just about as well as the black hat persona if you go in there with KTFO mentality. That will be there against Sulecki, is my guess.