Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn spent some time chatting with Fight Hype about his thoughts on the red hot lightweight division and his increasingly hostile beef with Mayweather Promotions’ Leonard Ellerbe.
Hearn says despite legal warnings from Ellerbe and Mayweather Promotions, he’s prepared to make Gervonta Davis a huge offer if it’s true he’s no longer under contract.
On who Hearn views at the top dog at 135
“You have to say Devin, now. Can the others beat him? That’s another question. I mean, I rank Tank Davis very highly. He’s a big puncher, he’s extremely skillful as well, but Devin has to be the top dog, he’s the undisputed champion right now. Ryan Garcia is probably the biggest draw out of all those guys, hasn’t yet been tested — I mean, had a good win against Luke Campbell, dropped in that fight. Can he beat Devin Haney, can he beat Tank Davis?
“I think the biggest fight in the division is Ryan Garcia against Tank Davis, to be honest with you. That’s just a big mix of audiences, big mix of fan bases, it’s just a huge fight. But there’s some great fights in the division. Let’s not forget about Vasiliy Lomachenko, he may beat them all. Because when he boxed Teofimo Lopez he did have an injury and he wasn’t 100 percent, but you can’t take anything away from Teo. But Lomachenko, Haney, Garcia, Tank Davis — great division. Let’s see ‘em fight each other, and Kambosos, let’s not completely rule him yet.”
On publicly acknowledging his interest in signing Gervonta Davis and what he thinks Davis may do
“I don’t really know. I mean, we had a legal letter from Leonard Ellerbe and Mayweather Promotions telling us to ultimately stop talking or mentioning Gervonta Davis, or approaching him, or whatever they thought we were doing. The reality is we have no idea, I presume that means he’s still under contract to Mayweather Promotions. I also saw Tank say that was his last fight with them under his contract. So when does that contract expire?
“What we won’t do is approach any fighter that is under contract. So if an opportunity comes to talk to him and he’s not under promotional contract, we will make him a huge offer. But, let’s see.
“They’ve done a good job with him, and I don’t knock that. He’s a big draw, but he’s also a great fighter and exciting fighter so it’s easier to do that kind of job, but I feel like Mayweather Promotions has done a good job. The problem is he’s with a PPV (outlet), the model we use is we let those fighters own the pot of money and we work for them.
“That’s not, probably, the model that they use and Tank will be looking at these stadiums that he’s filling and looking at the PPV numbers going, ‘Hmmm, who gets what here?’ And with our biggest stars, whether that’s Canelo, whether that’s AJ, you own everything and we work for you, and that’s the model that we’d apply to a star like Gervonta Davis.”
On his ongoing beef with Leonard Ellerbe
“Maybe (it’s getting out of hand). I think we just have very different senses of humor. I think Britain and the sarcasm and that kind of thing — I mean, he phoned me once screaming and shouting, and he’s made several threats to me. But, one, these threats have, like, no relevance and couldn’t bother me in the slightest. But, two, he doesn’t really get the back-and-forth . So ultimately I think we’re good for each other.
“Like he doesn’t stop talking about me in America, and obviously my profile is smaller in America than it is in the UK. No one really knows who he is in the UK, but he doesn’t really get that. So to him, he takes it personally, which is a bit sad, and I understand that, but I’m just gonna speak my mind.
“If some guy is gonna say that he’s gonna stomp me out or he’s gonna smack me when he sees me or something — one, he’s a 60-year-old man; but two, he talks about ‘be professional’ — I’m not going to start cowering and saying ‘Oh, I’m sorry, Leonard. I don’t want to upset you,’ because fuck him at the end of the day. I’ll talk the way I want to talk, and I say what I want to say.
“And Leonard Ellerbe has never really — when you look at my resume and what we’ve done internationally in terms of major events, we’re on another level. I respect what Leonard does in business and he’s been around and been involved in some big shows but when he talks about I’m the biggest clown in boxing, when you look at what we do and you look at our resume, I think he looks silly. He knows how good we are, but we’re coming into his territory and trying to take over and I’m being met with fierce resistance from everybody, which is flattering.”