Eddie Hearn, the head of Matchroom Boxing, had a long road to get to the San Francisco Bay Area. Hearn who is promoting a fight card in England this weekend was on site for the press conference for Devin Haney versus Regis Porgrais on December 9th, on DAZN pay-per-view, live from San Francisco, California, at the Chase Center, the home of the world champion NBA team, the Golden State Warriors, which will see Haney look to become a two-division world champion, as he fights for Prograis' WBC junior welterweight title
Hearn spoke to ProBox TV News not a slew of issues including the fight, but it was the news of the day that stole the show. Seemingly the end of Showtime Boxing, which Kevin Iole reported on Yahoo!Sports this morning that Showtime will conclude their sports division after this year which will by default see the end of Showtime Boxing, which is a part of that department.
“I think like I said to you earlier, there is a lot of hatred in [the boxing] industry,” told Hearn to ProBox TV News. “One thing I have found about boxing more than anything. We all need each other, really. We are all just actors in this crazy play, Shakespeare says ‘all the world’s a stage,’ and that is so true about boxing.”
The news comes as a gut punch to boxing fans as it comes on the heels of Showtime’s strongest year in some time as they put on Errol Spence Jr versus Terence Crawford, and Gervonta Davis versus Ryan Garcia, the two biggest fights in the United States. The figurehead of the Showtime Sports network was executive Stephen Espinoza, who Hearn referenced.
“Stephen Espinoza was an important figure within boxing, he may resurface in boxing,” furthered Hearn. “I feel like Showtime’s departure like HBO’s departure is a blow to the sport. People shouldn’t be celebrating it.”
With origins dating back to 1986, with the first broadcast featuring Marvelous Marvin Hagler defending his middleweight title against John "The Beast" Mugabi in Las Vegas, another network has left boxing. As a rumored potential ‘final show’ could go head-to-head with Hearn’s pay-per-view in San Francisco.
Regardless, Hearn seemed sad to see Showtime go as Paramount, Showtime's parent company, announced plans to move away from sports and focus on episodic programs. The transition now leaves two major players for now in boxing - DAZN and ESPN.
“I think [Showtime] probably had one of their best years, this year,” said Hearn in reflection. “Disappointed to see them go, but it also lends itself to the movement of the digital era of apps, and the way people are digesting content, and it is all changing."
Where boxing goes no one knows, but on a day to announce a pay-per-view fight it is now clear that boxing is in a different place than it was ten years ago.