NEW YORK–Eddie Hearn has an idea for making one of boxing’s more intriguing, yet apparently unrealistic, fights.
The head of Matchroom Boxing recently fielded a question regarding rival promoter Bob Arum’s stance on making a full unification 175-pound title bout between WBA titlist Dmitry Bivol and WBC, WBA, and IBF champion Artur Beterbiev. Hearn's Matchroom promotes Bivol, while Beterbiev is promoted by Top Rank, Arum’s company; the entities rarely do business together.
After Beterbiev’s recent win over Joe Smith Jr. at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City to pick up his third light heavyweight belt, Arum stated that he had no intention of making a fight between Beterbiev and Bivol unless it could be televised on ESPN, the network with which Arum has an exclusive output deal. Arum then disparaged DAZN, the streaming platform that is partnered with Hearn, for its supposedly limited viewership.
“One thing with Beterbiev is that now that he is known to the public and so many people have seen him – we ain’t doing a fight on ‘Dead-Zone’ (DAZN), which nobody watches,” Arum said.
Hearn thought Arum’s statement was short-sighted and indicated an unwillingness to find a middle ground. Hearn offered instead a no-frills scenario in which the promoter who puts down the most money should be the one who gets to stage the undisputed light heavyweight fight.
“That’s the way to throw shade off the fight,” Hearn said of Arum’s comments in an interview with BoxingScene.com after a press conference in Manhattan for Canelo-Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin III. “Doesn’t matter to us where the fight is. Why come out and say that?
“Why don’t you put me and Bob Arum in a room with two envelopes bidding for the fight and let the best man win. And we’ll stage the fight.”
Hearn said his team is more than willing to make the fight and that network choice would not be an obstacle. Hearn, furthermore, urged Arum to think more about the fighters, who would stand to make considerable paydays and earn legacy-defining bragging rights, instead of his own contractual obligations. Both Bivol, 31, and Beterbiev, 37, are undefeated and Russian.
“There’s not a lot of people calling for that fight on their side,” Hearn said. “We don’t have a fight scheduled for Dmitry Bivol. So if they want to do the undisputed fight we’d be more than happy to do it now.
“Let the fighters win. Don’t worry about [the promoter] winning. Worry about the fighters winning. It’s a great fight, one of the best in the sport. We’re happy to do it wherever. We’ll listen to any offers but there hasn’t been any offers.”