Following the news of Showtime exiting the boxing business at the end of the year, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn talks to the media about the implications for the sport, as he admits it’s not something he believes will benefit the sport going forward.
“A lot of people don’t get on with people in boxing, but you’ve also got to look at the bigger picture,” Hearn said. “It’s not great news for boxing. It’s just a sign of the future and the sign that the way that content is being distributed and delivered to fight fans, and that is by streaming.
“We saw that a couple of years ago, we made our own move to build those partnerships and those relationships, but boxing will be worse off without Showtime, as it was worse off without HBO.
“So there’s a lot of people championing Stephen Espinoza losing his job and boxing not being part of that, but I’ve — I know we never really got on that well — but I think he’s done a good job. And I think we’ve talked earlier when I came and I predicted this, what, two or three years ago and said it’s coming.
“But one of the reasons it’s lasted so long is because people are stubborn, right. And this was something that when I said it a couple of years ago, I knew those discussions were taking place for them to leave boxing. But Stephen did a great job and he wouldn’t give in, and he fought for boxing, right...he believed in the product.
“Ironically the news comes probably one of their best years in terms of bigger fights, but it’s just the future of a traditional broadcaster doesn’t lend itself, in my opinion, to the audience anymore.”