With the start of the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Dmitry Bivol fight week fans were treated to an event that is rare to find in the US marketplace these days. Was it an intimate look at the fighter’s lives as they prepare for their showdown? No, it was a media blitz by Eddie Hearn. The promoter whose mission in life is to remind everyone that no matter who wins or loses, Eddie will be there to take credit for it all.
Appearing on the hotbed of investigative journalism, Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Mr. Hearn waxed poetic about the sport of boxing and how his competitors just do not understand the game and what boxing really needs is a central figure to stand up and sell the sport to the masses. Of course, Eddie has volunteered himself for this role but with all this insight a casual observer might be fooled into thinking that Eddie has actually had success in the US marketplace. But first let us touch on some other issues Eddie brought up.
Eddie Hearn: The biggest problem the PBC have is a lack of spokesman.#TheMMAHour pic.twitter.com/sNlpispxNv— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) May 2, 2022
Of course, leave it to someone whose livelihood depends on convincing fighters they need to give up thirty percent or more of the money that is put towards a fight to say that promoters are the ones who drive the sport. As I covered in The Vindication Of Al Haymon, the purpose of the PBC is to put the fighters first. Not to have some figurehead jump around and take the spotlight off of the fighters.
You can also witness the sharp journalistic mind of Helwani at work as he interjects to support Eddie’s theory that a figurehead is needed as they both apparently forget that Floyd Mayweather did not become the number one draw in boxing until he abandoned his promoter.
But let us proceed to the main event, displaying the failure of Eddie Hearn in his attempt to get any traction in the US. I do not think it was a coincidence that Eddie went on The MMA Hour on the same day that he slashed the ticket prices for the Canelo vs Bivol fight. In fact I know it was not a coincidence because Eddie made sure to bring up the fact that if you pay attention to tickets, you are a “sad individual”.
Eddie Hearn talks #SerranoTaylor being sold out#TheMMAHour pic.twitter.com/Acr5MJHzzu— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) May 2, 2022
Now, the gate numbers will come out for Taylor vs Serrano as New York still reports them when asked, unlike Nevada that caved to the pressures of the UFC and stopped disclosing purses and gate numbers because the UFC fighter pay was becoming an embarrassment for the company. Yes, that’s the same UFC that Eddie and Ariel were praising in the first clip. I wonder why Eddie loves a company where the promoters get eighty percent of the money and the fighters get twenty percent? It’s a mystery for sure!
But let us move on to the “sad individual” comment. I have posted frequently about the tepid environment for Canelo vs Bivol and the price slashing, including my prediction of a disaster months ago. But what can I say, Eddie? When it comes to talking about gates and ticket sales I learned it from watching you!
Well I’m sure Eddie was just using ticket sales in this clip as an example of what he needs to sell a Conor Benn fight and would not be using numbers or speculation to ridicule anyone. Oh wait…
Not only is Eddie declaring a disaster but he’s also pretending to know what competitors were hoping to get for buys. Did Eddie have a life-changing moment in the eighteen days between his great interest in what David Avanesyan sold at the gate and his appearance on The MMA Hour? Or is he just full of shit?
There is not a figure in boxing with more opinions on the business of others than Eddie Hearn. But as attention closes in on yet another DAZN card where they will lose tens of millions of dollars on promoting a Canelo fight, Eddie now declares that if you are paying attention to how he cannot even promote the most popular fighter in the sport then the problem lies with you, not him.
Because of how Eddie Hearn has manipulated many of the known boxing media names with flights to his events and preferential attention, it is up to people like myself to comment on how this fight is not capturing the imagination of the public as evidenced by the fire sale that is happening right now. It is not like Mike Coppinger is going to risk his bromance with Eddie Hearn to report actual news. I am also pretty sure that Chris Mannix will not be doing a podcast where he and Keith Idec ponder how DAZN can make any money off Canelo like they did with the Keith Thurman vs Mario Barrios FOX PPV.
But enough with the chatter, let’s get to the evidence!
Well, hot damn. If you’re a fan that likes to buy tickets the week of then you are in luck as Eddie has even reduced some $2505 tickets to $1505. But if you are a promoter, slashing ticket prices when you are paying just one fighter on the card ~$43 million or more, well that truly is disastrous.
Eddie has also scrapped his VIP tickets that he was offering where for a measly 30% above face value for the tickets, a fan could get a Canelo t-shirt and undefined “Matchroom merchandise”. Those tickets, initially pitched by Hearn as “what boxing is missing”, have been converted to straight resale tickets on the AXS website. Another one of Eddie’s genius ideas to change the face of boxing tossed on the scrap heap after four weeks in existence.
It would be comical if not for the fact that Hearn is given free rein to pretend he is a massive success. I could go on with more examples of Hearn’s ineptitude such as how Hearn signed Devin Haney to DAZN only to see Haney be forced to sign to Top Rank in order to get a fight with George Kambosos as DAZN apparently did not value having Haney fight for an undisputed title on their platform. Or how Hearn was unable to secure a contract for Demetrius Andrade to fight either Canelo or Gennady Golovkin, two fights that were signed to DAZN at the time. This from the man who claims he could run all of boxing!
In the end there is no greater example than where DAZN is now. DAZN US launched with the promise of a billion dollar commitment to the sport of boxing and Eddie Hearn was put in charge. That plan didn’t last two years before DAZN slashed their investment and now have pushed Golden Boy Promotions out of the Canelo business and given it over to Eddie and it’s still a failure. Their line-up that once promised weekly action is full of anemic UK fights interspersed with a handful of average events. That is, when they aren’t trying to make subscribers pay for Ryan Garcia fights.
Yes in Canada, the event will be offered on DAZN PPV and priced at CAD $14.99 for current subscribers and CAD $34.99 for new subscribers (including one month’s subscription to DAZN).— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) March 31, 2022
It is long past time that the writers in the boxing world treat figures such as Hearn for what they truly are, a product of a bygone era where a self-indulgent promoter could pretend they mattered more than the boxers in the ring. Thankfully for my purposes, no “name” writer will ever do this as they prefer licking the crumbs that fall off Matchroom’s plate as opposed to any form of balanced reporting. Their unabashed fanboy love of Eddie Hearn in letting him run unchecked is why I can leave you with gems like this as we head into Canelo’s fight on DAZN PPV.
Unless you have a deal with DAZN, right Eddie?