Eddie Hearn presided over the Wednesday press conference at the swank Chelsea-NYC hotel Dream which unfolded to hype the Matchroom USA card running Friday night at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, streaming live on DAZN.
This event should serve primarily as a showcase for young gun Devin Haney, the 21-year-old with the 22-0 mark, who has announced that he has jetted past the prospect status, and now is looking to get into super-fight sorts of battles real soon.
Haney isn’t a shit-stirrer — his posse has grown as his notoriety and paydays have popped, but he’s still a pretty low-key dude, as evidenced by his turn at the mic at the presser.
It is more than possible that more persons will be in the MSG smaller room Friday to see the all-Brooklyn tango, pitting Heather Hardy (22-0) against Amanda Serrano (36-1-1) than to see Haney hand Zaur Abdullaev (11-0) his first loss. Hardy puts her WBC featherweight crown up for grabs, in a scrap which also promises the interim WBC feather strap to the victor.
Here are a handful of takeaways from the media meet-up:
- Devin Haney made clear what he sees as his near-term pathway, when he said, “This will put me one step closer to where I want to be. Egis (Klimas, manager of Vasiliy Lomachenko, who was in the room), I’m going to show you a little sample of what I’ll do to Lomachenko after I beat Abdullaev. I know Zaur will put up a great fight, but I’m ready. I had a great training camp, and come Friday night I’ll show the world who Devin Haney is, and I’m ready for the top dog.” Loma owns a WBC 135 strap, and just dealt with the then WBC top rated challenger, one Luke Campbell. So, the time frame on a Loma vs. Haney/Zaur winner, who really knows, right? But that does give you a sense of the stakes in that main event.
- Eddie Hearn was, no surprise, in promoting mode, as when he said, “The card from top to bottom is fantastic.” Of course, we shall see how the pairings play out. He was enthused about the women’s battle, that seemed legit. “The women’s co-feature is probably the biggest fight in women’s boxing. The co-main event on this card, the battle of Brooklyn, Heather Hardy vs Amanda Serrano is a thrilling fight that will light up the Hulu Theater at MSG.” Here, in this video after the official presser, he shared on the stakes for the winner. Yes, indeed, both have agreed to fight Irish ace Katie Taylor. Feb. 2020 would make sense, on paper, for that mashup.
- Hearn also shared on who will be providing support on the Oct. 5 Gennadiy Golovkin-Sergiy Derevyanchenko card. He mentioned Joe Ward, the Irish amateur ace, and also an Ivan Baranchyk vs Gabe Bracero scrap. And, yes, he is thinking we hear any second about a Canelo versus Sergey Kovalev tussle, when Oscar De La Hoya and Team Canelo choose to do so.
- Also in promoting mode was Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America, who said, “Very shortly we will make an announcement on Canelo Alvarez’s next fight. Huge fights, huge names, and a packed schedule starting this weekend.” I also asked Hearn, while I had him, to ask about Canelo’s next foe, and the cat is outta that bag, with Sergey Kovalev getting the lotto ticket.
- Heather Hardy won a few more fans, with her admission, during her time at the mic that, “I’ve become known as the girl talking about the pay and equality. I just want to say it’s never a reflection of how grateful I am to be here. Crying to pictures over at MSG with my mom, thinking we made it. I’m thankful for Amanda choosing me, she’s the best boxer in the world right now. I’m ready, I’m the toughest girl in boxing,” she said, after lauding her promoter, Lou DiBella, who also boasts Serrano in his stable. Here, Hardy tells BLH about how her camp went, and I asked her some hints on HOW she will fight Serrano.
- DiBella spoke in his usual manner, with force and feeling. He said that he is beyond proud of having promoted Hardy from her start in the pro ranks, and noted that she’s stolen many a show, from “Broadway Boxings” and then some. Hardy and Serrano are getting career high paydays, and he thanked Hearn and DAZN for “helping crack the door open, but it’s time to knock the fucking door down.” By that, he means that the money has to start being there to make it worthwhile for the ladies to keep on fighting in the pro pugilism ranks. The ladies fight is getting the most buzz, and that speaks to what women’s boxing can do. C’mon, platforms, get with the program, give them chances and let’s get those checks reflecting more so their true worth, that was his message.