Eddie Hearn had his weekly chat with Ak and Barak on The DAZN Boxing Show, giving some updates on the upcoming DAZN show on Saturday from New York, Canelo’s plans, where Bivol vs Beterbiev possibly sits (it’s complicated!), and Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury.
On Saturday’s Matchroom card
“I know we’ve got a great card on Saturday. Amanda Serrano’s been looking to become undisputed for a long time, it’s Puerto Rico vs Mexico, and Erika Cruz is our champion, as well. If Amanda comes through, there’s a very good chance you’re going to see Taylor vs Serrano 2 in Ireland later, towards the summer.”
On Taylor vs Serrano 2 supposedly being a done deal if Serrano wins Saturday: “Yeah, you know, you’ve got to leave a little bit for the (official) announcement. [laughs] You can’t save anything these days!”
“There’s also Baumgardner, who just beat Mikaela Mayer. She’s an incredible success story and goes for undisputed herself (at 130). Richardson Hitchins in a great fight as well; Yankiel Rivera, a Puerto Rican Olympian; Ramla Ali, Skye Nicolson, Aaron Aponte, Harley Mederos. It’s a great card Saturday and it’s going to be a full-up (Hulu) Theater at the Garden.”
On Terence Crawford, Golden Boy, and moves being made across boxing
“There’s a couple of guys sort of stringing around now, a lot of people who look to be making fights. The phone is ringing a lot more with me lately, with certain fighters that are looking to make moves, looking to jump sides of the street and all that. ... I think people now are bored of waiting so long, bored of fighting once a year, bored of fights falling through.
“Boxing has to fight back against the ‘YouTube world,’ which I don’t have a problem with. You saw on Saturday night, Yarde and Beterbiev, really good fight. Obviously this weekend we’re at (Hulu Theater at) the Garden. Leigh Wood against Mauricio Lara coming up.
“We need to make fights that have that 50/50 mentality. Terence Crawford wants to be in those fights, but I saw Oscar get himself into a little bit of trouble, because he said, ‘We can do Crawford against Rocha, and then Crawford against Ortiz, and then Crawford against Spence,’ so he didn’t give his guys much chance in those fights, but ... I’ve done that before. [laughs]”
On where the Bivol vs Beterbiev situation stands right now
“When we analyze (Beterbiev vs Yarde), I say this, great effort from Anthony Yarde. Great heart, great balls, stood in there. But what I also saw was a great performance from Artur Beterbiev. If you know boxing, whether you think he was behind or not in that fight, he was in total control all the time. When the shots were coming back, he was positioning his feet, he was bringing Yarde onto shots, he was breaking him down round-by-round. It was a really good performance from Beterbiev, he’s a fantastic fighter.”
“Callum Smith is (WBC) mandatory to Artur Beterbiev, with no exceptions. Dmitry Bivol has wanted that Beterbiev fight for a long time. You see in the build-ups to fights, people say, ‘Yeah, we want the undisputed fight.’ Let’s see if they’ve got the same energy now, because Dmitry Bivol is ready to fight Beterbiev, and it’s probably one of the biggest fights in boxing. But also, Canelo Alvarez wants to fight Dmitry Bivol for undisputed at 168.
“Bivol’s in a great position. For me, I would like to see Callum Smith against Beterbiev, probably at Anfield in early summer, after Ramadan, and Dmitry Bivol perhaps against Joshua Buatsi in the spring, then Bivol fight Canelo at 168 for undisputed, and then straight away, fight Beterbiev for undisputed — or Callum Smith — at 175 as well.
“There’s so much that can happen. Listen, Bivol may want to go into an undisputed fight with Beterbiev. We’ve got Callum Smith, we’ve got Bivol, we’ve got Canelo Alvarez — this is where it gets really exciting, because we’ve got some massive fights to be made at 175.”
“Callum Smith’s been ordered (by the WBC). Canelo Alvarez will probably fight in May. You’ve also got Ramadan for Artur Beterbiev, he’s probably not going to come back until summer. So there’s a lot to sort out right now. We’re going to speak to Top Rank, we’re gonna speak to Callum Smith, we’re gonna speak to Dmitry Bivol, but it’s really exciting times for the sport and the division at 175.”
On whether Canelo would wait on Bivol vs Beterbiev: “Canelo wants revenge. With all due respect — no, he wouldn’t give up the date. End of the day, Canelo Alvarez wants revenge against Dmitry Bivol. We’ve got a lot of irons in the fire here, where we’ve got to do what’s best for a number of fighters.”
On the best at 175 lbs right now
“Beterbiev and Bivol is one of the best fights in boxing. Make no mistake, the best 175 lber in the world right now Dmitry Bivol. Unquestionable. ... I don’t care who’s ‘unified,’ I’m telling you who’s the best. That’s Dmitry Bivol.
“But it’s a tremendous fight and I rate Artur Beterbiev. I think he’s a brilliant fighter to watch, so exciting, but how exciting to have these fights on the cusp of being made. And like I said before, we need to make these fights.”
On where Canelo’s May return is at right now
“Canelo Alvarez’s plan is to fight John Ryder (in May) and then Dmitry Bivol (in September). ... I spoke with Eddy Reynoso last night, we’re working on possible venues for those fights. ... We’re planning with Eddy and Saul this year and next year. Obviously, you’ve got Benavidez vs Plant coming up. Edgar Berlanga’s making a lot of noise, if he can get a couple of big wins I think that’s a big fight against Canelo Alvarez, as well.
“The priority is May against the mandatory, John Ryder, and then moving towards Dmitry Bivol for undisputed at 168.”
On having interest in Edgar Berlanga
“He’s a big name, he has big support. In boxing, people are very quick — he had (16 first round knockouts), and then went the distance a couple of times, and then apparently he’s ‘overrated.’ That’s what happens in boxing.
“But if Edgar Berlanga can headline a couple of shows against high-level, world-ranked opposition and prove that he is a contender for Canelo Alvarez, you have a fantastic Mexico vs Puerto Rico fight there. But he has to establish himself as a world champion contender against that opposition. I believe he can do it.
“I’m sure we’ll speak to (Berlanga’s manager) Keith Connolly, our friend, and the team to see if we’re in the mix for Edgar Berlanga.”
On Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury actually happening or not
“It sounds like there’s now some money for that fight in Saudi Arabia, so I think it’ll happen. It’s a good fight! I mean it’s not, obviously, Bivol against Beterbiev and fights like that, but it’s a 50/50 fight and a lot of fun. Why not?
“I think it’s different to the ‘YouTube boxing,’ it is a professional boxer against a YouTube boxer. They’re not anywhere near world level, but it doesn’t matter. You have a lot of fights out there that aren’t world level but are entertaining, so I think that’s a good fight that’s going to get a lot of attention, I think it’s good for boxing.”
On the potential for a Serrano vs Baumgardner fight if both win Saturday
“Katie Taylor might have something to say about that, because I think she’ll be in attendance Saturday night. But Taylor-Serrano, Taylor-Baumgardner, Serrano-Baumgardner, Chantelle Cameron against Taylor, against Baumgardner, Jessica McCaskill as well with belts up at 147 — the great thing about female boxing is these girls are up for fights against anyone. Anyone that can better their career, can give them legacy, can give them belts.
“That’s honestly one of the most motivating things about the women’s side of the sport is I’m not seeing any roadblocks, any egos, any managers and lawyers trying to stop fights and opportunities, we’re just seeing the best fight the best. And that’s one of the reasons we’ve seen the growth and rise in women’s boxing.”