In this interview with Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn, Fight Hub TV talks a bit about how Crolla ended up fighting on ESPN and what he thinks it will eventually take for Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua to strike a deal. Check out some excerpts below...
Hearn on Crolla fighting Lomachenko on ESPN despite having his own platform in DAZN:
“So Anthony Crolla become the mandatory to fight Lomachenko. I don’t think that Bob and those guys were over the moon about that but he earned the right. So, you know, you can’t really do a lot about it. It was definitely a fight we were interested to put on DAZN. We couldn’t really get there on a negotiation point of view. We looked at purse bids, it had the potential to get very messy.
“The relationship between ESPN and DAZN and Top Rank and Matchroom is good. We’ll both say bad things every now and again but that’s just what Bob does, and what I do, but there’s kinda like a mutual understanding that ‘do we wanna go down that road of creating these huge purse bids?’ And then they came back with an offer, I felt it was a good offer for Anthony. I spoke to DAZN and said ‘Look, this is a good opportunity for the fighter, it’s a lot of money. Do you want to go to purse bid?’ And they said ‘No, that’s fine if you feel that’s the right opportunity.’ And that’s the kind of partner that I’m looking for as well.
“Not just a great broadcaster with a lot of money and a lot of dates, but one that understands the need of a fighter to make sure that we can’t just be obstructive and stop opportunities, stop fighters from making the money they should be making, stop them from being in career-defining fights and fights the fans wanna see. So that’s important...”
On if his deal with DAZN won’t prevent him from allowing his fighters to go on other platforms:
“It’s a case-by-case scenario. I mean Anthony Crolla is a UK fighter. Ok, so when you look at the US fighters and the fighters that are under contract to Matchroom and DAZN — obviously any promoter in that position the best and biggest of the fighters with their broadcaster.
“So, like, is Canelo gonna go fight on Showtime or HBO. No! Is Usyk right now gonna go fight on another platform? No.
“In time, and I read a lot of stuff from Bob about Anthony Joshua...[Joshua] is on a fight-by-fight deal with DAZN. The plan is for Anthony Joshua to remain on DAZN. Until a deal is presented to cement that future, he has the ability to fight on any other platform. And right now, with the landscape and with the situation regarding the Wilder fight and the Fury fight, I’d rather he was in that position. Because Fury can’t fight anywhere else. Wilder, we don’t really know. Joshua can...
“I don’t feel like you’re really doing a great job for a fighter if you’re blocking him out of situations, especially at that stage in their career, in career-defining fights...Fury’s a good example. Let’s remember Tyson Fury turned down the Wilder rematch. All the bad stuff I’ve said in the past about Wilder, he ain’t at fault here. Tyson Fury’s turned his back on this rematch to sign a big financial deal with ESPN to take, what it looks like at the moment, easier, less appealing fights...
“We need to have that flexibility right now in [Joshua’s] career to see what happens post ‘Big Baby’ Miller — especially in that month after — to know that we must strike and make the Wilder fight in November/December. It’s the biggest fight in world boxing. It’s the best fight in world boxing. We have to make it. So we’ve got to be very careful right now just to make sure we’re not handcuffed to not be able to make a fight.”
On if a Joshua-Wilder fight will eventually come down to agreeing on a purse split:
“I think Wilder’s made it quite clear he wants 50/50. [We don’t believe he’s entitled to 50/50]...Ultimately it will get to a stage where it comes down to the fighters. Because if Wilder wants 50/50, you’ve got to say to Joshua ‘will you give him 50/50?’ And he’ll say ‘No, I don’t believe he deserves 50/50.’ And if Joshua says ‘I’ll give him 60/40, okay.’ Then you’ve got to go to Wilder and say “will you accept 60/40?’ If he says no, it’s done! There’s no deal.
“One thing I will give Wilder credit for is his profile — going back from when this fight was first offered last summer or something like that...his value now is considerably higher than it was back then...Maybe they get that [50/50 split] in the end, I don’t know. Maybe he goes out and has a Fight of the Year against Breazeale, like gets off the deck and comes back and becomes an American hero...”
On why not just settle on an even split so the fight can happen:
“That’s an easy thing to say as a fan, right. And I understand what you’re saying. It doesn’t really come down to me. Like, the same thing you say to me, like ‘Wilder, why don’t you just take 60/40?’...
“You’re talking about a guy that’s consistently earned like more money than Wilder has ever been close to. Okay? Consistently. Up until two fights ago Wilder was making like $3M a fight...
“Let’s look at what they’re earning. That’s the key here, in my opinion...If there’s this massive fight, if there’s all this risk, if there’s the undisputed, surely I should be making a lot more than I’m making at the moment. Wilder is at 40%. At 50% Joshua isn’t, really.
“Maybe Wilder turns around and says ‘You know what, give me the 40%, I’m gonna knock him out.’ And maybe Joshua turns around and goes ‘You know what? Fuck it. Do the 50/50, let me knock him out.’ That’s what it’ll probably take.
“Wilder will make quadruple times more than he’s ever made for this fight. Joshua won’t.”
On if a Joshua-Usyk fight is more likely to happen:
“Well that’s an inter-stable fight where one guy could be the WBO mandatory — will be the WBO mandatory, in Usyk at some point — that’s the next mandatory for Joshua. So if he’s not fighting Wilder this year, he’ll probably have to fight Usyk. That’s a tough fight. Like he could lose to Usyk and then the undisputed fight goes up in the air. But Joshua likes the Usyk fight, I think he has a very tough fight in Carlos Takam for his debut. We’re gonna learn a lot on May 25th in that fight...I think Joshua vs. Usyk is big on so many levels...”