Eddie Hearn Explains Matchroom’s Non-Bid on Devin Haney-Sandor Martin

Devin Haney has expressed frustration over the recent purse bid to stage his junior welterweight defense against mandatory challenger Sandor Martin, which drew only one bidder – Top Rank, Martin’s promoter – for a figure well under Haney’s current earning power. 

Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) regained his undefeated status last week after an April 20 majority decision loss to Ryan Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) was overturned to a no-contest by the NYSAC due to Garcia's positive test for the performance enhancer ostarine. But he remained upset by the fallout, which included bitter feelings toward Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn, who have promoted some of Haney’s major fights but sat out the purse bid for Haney-Martin.

“Wow Matchroom … nasty work,” Haney posted on X. “I should’ve bid myself.”

In an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s “The MMA Hour,” Hearn explained why Matchroom didn’t bid on the fight and speculated why Devin Haney, who owns his own promotional company and has worked with co-promoters on a fight-by-fight basis, didn’t bid on himself.

“He’s not signed with me, he’s not looking to sign a long-term deal with a promoter,” Hearn said. “I think he assumed we might bid, but he runs his own promotion, Devin Haney Promotions. They like having their logo on the poster, but they didn't want to lose money, and that’s why they didn’t bid.”

Hearn also expressed empathy for Haney, now “champion in recess,” noting that “he's been through a tough time, and it's not his fault.”

Regarding future plans, Hearn mentioned new junior welterweight titlist Liam Paro (25-0, 15 KOs), who upset former belt holder Subriel Matias in Puerto Rico earlier this month, as his preferred opponent for Haney. Hearn had hoped to arrange a unification bout with Paro in Australia, given Haney’s past success there against George Kambosos Jr. and based on the Australian government’s typical support for big fights.

“I spoke with his lawyer the night before the purse bid and expressed interest in a unification fight with Liam Paro,” Hearn said, referring to Haney and his team. “However, they didn’t respond.”

Despite Haney’s downgraded title status and slightly diminished in-ring reputation, Hearn remains interested in a Haney-Paro fight. But he also believes Haney may take the rest of the year off – a sentiment Haney seemed to confirm in a recent tweet.

“At this point, it's all academic since he’s effectively vacated the title,” Hearn said. “I’d still like to make the Liam Paro fight happen in Australia.”

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