Promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping there will be opportunities to collaborate with Premier Boxing Champions, in the wake of the latter’s new deal with Amazon.
At the same time, the Matchroom Boxing head doesn’t appear to be holding his breath.
This week, Al Haymon’s PBC announced that it had struck a multiyear deal with the e-commerce giant’s streaming platform, Prime Video. The first event will begin in March. PBC backs many of the top talents in North America, including Canelo Alvarez, Gervonta Davis, Terence Crawford, and David Benavidez.
The announcement arrives as PBC’s longtime broadcasting Showtime is set to shut down its boxing operations by the end of the year.
Hearn, a competitor to the PBC, has long criticized Haymon and Co. for supposedly failing to collaborate on big fights. Cross-promotional fights, however, are generally rare in the sport, as most promoters have exclusive broadcasting deals that obligate them to showcase their own fighters. Matchroom, for example, has its own deal with the streaming platform DAZN.
Nevertheless, in a recent interview, Hearn heralded PBC’s new deal as a net positive for the sport.
“I don’t know the financials,” Hearn told FightHubTV. “I don’t think it’s a massive rights fee deal, which is difficult but also at the same time, good. Glad they got a broadcast, glad that we got another player in the broadcast world of boxing because we need it, they needed it.
“You know, they got a lot of good fighters that need to be serviced and hopefully it’s a deal that can service their roster.”
Hearn pointed out the positive effect that can arise out of working with other promoters by pointing to the upcoming Dec. 23 card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, featuring Anthony Joshua in the main event against Otto Wallin. The card also features Deontay Wilder against Joseph Parker. Hearn is collaborating with sworn British rival Frank Warren on the show. Hearn, however, said he suspects that there will still be an unwillingness from the PBC to work with Matchroom.
“Yeah, of course,” Hearn replied when asked about wanting to work with PBC. “PBC have always wanted to keep everything in house. And probably now they don’t have the deal to do that but maybe the stubbornness will remain. I think everyone should work together. We’ve seen really with the Saudi card when promoters come together, how great you can build a card and how big a night it can be.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.