Hearn criticizes Eubank Jr for turning down Benn fight

Promoter Eddie Hearn criticized Chris Eubank Jr. following the collapse of negotiations regarding a possible February encounter involving Conor Benn.

Eubank and Benn had been in long-winded negotiations for several months, with Hearn seeking to hold the contest at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, which would have finally seen the two rivals come to blows.

The pairing had been due to face each other in October of 2022, but Benn failed two VADA-administered anti-doping tests for the substance Clomifene, which forced the October 2022 encounter to be pulled on the week of the fight.

Benn was cleared to return to the sport by the National Anti-Doping Panel in July following an investigation into his failed doping tests. However, the decision made by the NADP has been appealed by the British Boxing Board of Control and UK Anti-Doping.

Hearn appeared on the Boxing with Chris Mannix podcast, criticised Eubank Jr’s decision not to take the contest with Benn and explained that Eubank Jr wanted a guaranteed purse in order to face Benn.

“[Eubank] pulls a number out of the sky, and I’m just like, how?” Hearn said on the Boxing with Chris Mannix Podcast. “‘Well, you said it was the biggest fight in the history of British boxing.’ ‘Mate, I’m a promoter. What do you want me to say? That it’s not that big of a fight?’ I mean, it is a big fight, but a lot of the time, on pay-per-view upside, you need to back yourself. If you think that (it can succeed), then no problem. You’ll actually hit your number.

“But we can’t put guarantees in for numbers that we won’t hit. We know it’s a huge pay-per-view, but you can’t just have a conversation where you say, ‘It does a million buys.’ Does it? If it does a million buys, congratulations, you’re actually going to get more than your number. ‘So surely if you back yourself to do a million, we’re in, alright?’ ‘Oh, no, you got to pay me up front for the million buys.’ ‘How?’ I don’t want to do a fight where I lose three or four million dollars. What’s the point of that?”

Eubank also recently criticized his promoter, Kalle Sauerland, for attempting to negotiate a deal with Eubank challenging for a version of the IBO world title for a third time against current holder Etinosa Oliha, when he thought he had already agreed to challenge current WBO/IBF middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly.

Hearn finished by remarking that Eubank’s decision to pass a pay-per-view fight with Benn was "frustrating."

He said: “Conor signed, Kalle was all in, and Chris Eubank Jr. wasn’t,” Hearn said. “It’s so frustrating. I’m saying, ‘What are you going to do.’ ‘What do you mean? I’ve got loads of options.’ ‘No, you haven’t!’

“He’s going to end up taking a fight for a quarter of what we offered him against maybe the IBO champion at middleweight. It’s Ego, stupidity, and a lack of common sense. But mostly, it’s someone in your ear who is a complete clown and has no idea of what they’re talking about. Welcome to the world of boxing.”