A top boxing executive at DAZN wants nothing to do with the often entertaining, if highly trivial, war of words between boxing’s top promoters.
Joe Markowski, an executive vice president at the subscription streaming service, expressed his dismay with the way certain promoters denigrate each other repeatedly through the media, including the promoters exclusively aligned with the platform.
Markowski, in particular, pointed to the behavior of Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, one of DAZN’s key content providers. Hearn has had longstanding and at times vitriolic rows with Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, which promotes boxing star Gervonta Davis. Mayweather Promotions does exclusive business with Premier Boxing Champions, a company that Hearn admits he has a “poor” relationship with and that Ellerbe often speaks for. Hearn’s spats with Ellerbe have repeatedly gone viral in the boxing world.
Although he did not mention him by name, Markowski also presumably was referring to Oscar De La Hoya, the head of Golden Boy Promotions, which also does important business with DAZN. De La Hoya recently had some strong words for Hearn, blaming him, among other things, for Canelo Alvarez’s loss to Dmitry Bivol in their light heavyweight title bout in May.
The back-and-forth exchanges are not something that Markowski wants to encourage. Indeed, the executive even seemed to suggest that they have taken action against their promoters who have spoken out too forcefully against rival industry power brokers.
Markowksi believes the internecine squabbling only alienates other competitors with whom DAZN may want to work with on big fights down the line.
“What we won’t do is – and you’ve never seen us do this – get into a back and forth with other promoters, dismissing them, dismissing the prospect of working together,” Markowski told BoxingScene.com at a press conference Monday in Manhattan for Canelo-Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin III.
Markowski expressed concern that verbal tiffs between Hearn and other rival promoters would only hurt the DAZN brand. DAZN and Hearn's Matchroom entered a significant rights deal in 2018, with the US market as a focal point. Last year, the two parties signed a new deal to focus on the UK market.
“We don’t want our promoters to do that (engage in quarrels), which they do,” Markowski continued. “Our promoters do that. Eddie does it. We slap them on the wrists. We don’t want our brand associated with that kind of behavior because we don’t think it is conducive to doing our job properly.”