It’s not every day Eddie Hearn finds himself commiserating with a rival.

The outspoken head of Matchroom Boxing recently admitted that he sympathized with Al Haymon, the founder of Premier Boxing Champions, as it relates to the now scuttled Errol Spence Jr. vs Terence Crawford undisputed welterweight championship. Over the years, Hearn has seldom had anything positive to say about Haymon and his company, often blaming the media-averse powerbroker for putting the kibosh on fan-friendly fights.

One exception, it appears, is the recently flat-lined Spence Jr.-Crawford fight that Haymon presided over. A fight regarded by the boxing public as perhaps the most intriguing match-up in the sport had been built up for years only to collapse at the 11th hour last month after it was announced that Crawford would instead be taking on unsung David Avanesyan on Dec. 10 in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Crawford quickly followed up the news with a 20-minute monologue on Instagram Live in which he blamed Haymon and Spence as the culprits for failing to deliver the fight.

Spence is widely expected to move on and face former titlist Keith Thurman, a fellow client of Haymon and PBC stablemate.

In a recent interview, however, Hearn seemed to suggest that Crawford, a free agent, and his supposedly unrealistic financial expectations for that fight was more at fault than Haymon in causing talks to break down. Hearn has repeatedly said that Spence-Crawford is not as big a fight as boxing fans think it is, and that its potential performance on pay-per-view is likely to be modest rather than grandiose.

Crawford himself has stated that Haymon’s lack of transparency toward certain financial matters was what led to the undoing of the fight, and not for demanding, as Hearn suggests, an unreasonably high purse; Crawford, in his monologue, insisted he was willing to fight without a guarantee.    

“I have a little bit of sympathy for Al in the Spence-Crawford fight, because the fight is not as big as people think it is,” Hearn told FightHubTV. “And I’ve said this before, and I’ve had criticism for this. You have to understand, whatever you think of me, whatever you think of Al Haymon, we do know the business and the numbers like the back of our hand. We do this all the time. I can’t have an argument with someone on Twitter who tells me Spence-Crawford does a million buys, yet we know that if you’re setting a line on a guarantee you set that line at 350 or 400,000 buys. If I’m putting my money up, that’s where I’m comfortable with the line.”

Hearn said if Spence-Crawford was truly a blockbuster match, there would have been no issues between the fighters. Hearn, by way of example, pointed to the fact that in recent negotiations between his client Anthony Joshua and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, both fighters forwent guarantees because they knew they were set to make a killing. (In the end, talks also broke down between Fury and Joshua).

“That doesn’t mean that’s the number that Al’s comfortable with but ultimately when a fight’s big enough, the fighters don’t really need a guarantee, and they don’t really ask for one,” Hearn said. “I go back to Fury against AJ. There was no guarantee. It was just all the money in the pot. Everyone knows how big that fight is. It’s not a case of ‘oh it might do this.’ We all know how big it is. But we just don’t know with Spence-Crawford. It’s a tremendous fight. It could do 700 or 800,000 buys. But what if it does 300 (thousand)? Who foots the bill? And obviously Al Haymon wasn’t prepared to foot the bill.”