Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn hasn’t exactly endeared himself to fans with some of his recent takes, but I think he gives a reasonable and honest assessment on both the business and politics of the boxing world, and why those factors have been a impediment to making fights like Errol Spence vs Terence Crawford and Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia.
In a conversation with Marcos Villegas of Fight Hub TV, Hearn gives his perspective on Oscar De La Hoya singling Al Haymon out as the man who’s preventing all the fights we really want to see.
“I have a little bit of sympathy with Al in the Spence vs Crawford fight because the fight is not as big as people think it is,” Hearn said. “You have to understand, whatever you think of me, whatever you think of Al Haymon, we do know the business and the numbers like the back of our hand. We do this all the time.
“So I can’t have an argument with someone on Twitter who tells me that Spence vs Crawford does a million buys. Yet we know if you setting a line on a guarantee, you set that line at 350-400,000 buys. If I’m putting my money up, that’s where I’m comfortable with the line. Now that doesn’t mean that’s the number that Al is comfortable with, but ultimately when a fight’s big enough, the fighters don’t really need a guarantee, and they don’t really ask for one.
“I go back to Fury against AJ. There was no guarantee. It was just all the money in the pot. Everyone knows how big that fight is. It’s not a case of ‘oh, it might do this.’ We all know how big it is. But we just don’t know with Spence vs Crawford. It’s a tremendous fight. It could do 700-800,000 buys, but what if it does 300,000? Who foots the bill? And obviously Al Haymon wasn’t prepared to foot the bill.
“Now if you’re talking about ‘are they the ones stopping big fights?’ I do think that PBC and Stephen Espinoza are actually the ones who are stopping — or more likely to stop a fight than others.
“So I just feel like as a fan, looking at Tank against Ryan Garcia — I’m not involved...I just look at it and say I believe that PBC and Stephen Espinoza are saying ‘there is no way we are letting DAZN be involved in that fight.’ Now you have to understand, Ryan Garcia is a DAZN fighter. So Showtime will say ‘we’ve built Tank,’ but DAZN have built Ryan Garcia. What do you think, that they’re going to invest all that money and then when they get to the stage where they have a mega-fight and they just go ‘yeah, don’t worry about it.’
“What is the problem with putting a fight of that magnitude on both platforms? I don’t understand. But I know for a fact that DAZN have no problem sharing. Like you can air it on DAZN, you can air it on Showtime, PPV, whatever, same price point. Does it really matter? Like if your platform’s that big, aren’t you gonna do all the buys anyway, supposedly? But that’s what’s stopping that fight.
“I don’t think it’s always PBC’s fault, or Espinoza’s fault, but I do think in that instance, that fight, (they’re) to blame. In the instance of Terence Crawford, I don’t think that’s PBC’s fault. I just think it’s the fighters that probably think it’s a fight that’s worth more than it is.
“Certainly, of all the people I’ve worked with in boxing, (PBC and Espinoza) are probably the ones that would refuse to have a conversation about an opportunity for their fighter. Don’t know (why). They definitely don’t like me, but it’s with other people as well.
“Every now and again you’ll see Top Rank and PBC do a fight when it’s Wilder against Fury — like they really needed to do that fight. But I think in general they’d rather not.”