It’s hard to tell from the pomp and circumstance surrounding Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp launch that it was just a little over two years ago that Mr. Hearn, along with the streaming service DAZN, announced with much aplomb their entry into the United States marketplace. Harken back to that fateful day in May where Eddie announced that he had the largest bankroll in boxing with a billion dollars at his disposal and he was set to show the US what boxing promotion was all about.
This adventure really almost stopped before it began when Eddie danced around the question of whether this meant he was going to bring his only real star, Anthony Joshua, to the American shores. The only promises that Eddie made were that Pay Per View was now “dead” and that he was going to put on “four real bangers” with great cards every month to justify people making a commitment to signing up with DAZN USA. Why, Eddie didn’t even make it until the end of 2018 before the DAZN executives realized that they weren’t really lighting up the subscription world with cards in Kansas City where the main draw was a flyweight who fought fifth on a nine card bill and signed up Canelo Alvarez to try to revive their flagging product.
Eddie’s first mistake is that he had no idea what fighters in the US were being paid. If he had done any research he would never have been touting his “massive” offer in the press of offering Adrien Broner a three fight deal worth $6.75 million when AB was already making $3 million per fight on cable. If only Eddie had known his favourite lickspittle, Mike Coppinger, in those days! Even Mike knows the information on the public purse disclosure doesn’t mean that’s the only money the fighters make.
Eddie’s American Takeover has been a complete disaster. Not for Matchroom Boxing of course, they’ve made a considerable amount of money selling UK cards at massively inflated prices to air in the US. The problem being that there is no outlet in the US that cares about making money that would actually pay for those cards. Yet DAZN has enabled Matchroom Boxing to double their profit while paying for these very same cards that have gone unnoticed by the US public.
Even the one moment when DAZN USA made a breakthrough into the public consciousness, Andy Ruiz Jr’s upset of Anthony Josuha, was all for naught when Eddie took the rematch to Saudi Arabia. A location that not only let him line his pockets with site fee money from a country trying to remind people they do more than butcher journalists but that location also allowed him to sell Pay-Per-Views in the UK. That’s PPV, the very thing Eddie had declared was “dead” when he landed on the shores of the US.
In lieu of the AJ vs Ruiz Jr rematch being held in America, Eddie sold the outlet on his next genius move of promoting bouts between YouTube stars! Not once, but twice! Another disastrous adventure that normally would get roasted if not for Eddie buying up coverage from many in the boxing press. Eddie has been throwing so many trips around for writers that The Athletic is little more than a de facto Matchroom PR Firm. Witness the power of the neutral observer in action over Eddie Hearn setting up a boxing ring in his backyard to air a Ted Cheeseman fight…
Selling the sport? The only thing Eddie cares about is selling himself. Eddie has a vainglorious streak that makes the Kardashians look like recluses.
A month after Eddie Hearn was issuing stern warnings to fighters that the days of them bilking money out of DAZN were over, he’s pronouncing to the world that he spent 5 million pounds on a lighting rig and a boxing ring. Apparently Eddie doesn’t want anyone else taking advantage of abusing DAZN’s complete ignorance to line their pockets.
So the real question is, how long can this last? Will DAZN finally put their boxing endeavour out of its misery? Or will they continue to burn money with the hopes of getting traction in their misguided fantasy of landing an NFL streaming deal? Only Len Blavatnik can really answer that one. But until the plug is pulled, you can bet that UK’s carnival barker will continue to shine the spotlight on himself.