Eddie Hearn has called for all promoters to increase the level of their ‘quality control’ to improve the quality of boxing, which promoters, including himself, present to broadcasters.
The comments from Hearn are fresh following confirmation in previous weeks that broadcaster Showtime will be withdrawing from the sport of boxing, leaving its primary promotional partner, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), without a broadcast deal heading into 2024.
Hearn has vowed to implement improvements on his own promotions leading into 2024, citing that fighters’ purses are spiralling out of control and wishes to bring better value on behalf of broadcaster DAZN.
“Fighter purses are out of control, and they are not delivering on the value that the price represents. Boxing rights are very expensive. When you get it right, boxing is a huge success and rates well, delivers pay-per-view events, and arenas are full. Boxing as a business has to deliver more value to the broadcasters so they stay in the sport,” Hearn said in an interview with IFL.
The withdrawal of Showtime has come as PBC demonstrated arguably its strongest year within the sport since its launch in 2015. Four pay-per-view successes have occurred on Showtime featuring David Benavidez vs Caleb Plant in March, Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia in April, Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr. in July, as well as Canelo Alvarez vs Jermell Charlo in September. Benavidez will feature and headline on PPV again next month as he faces Demetrius Andrade on November 25th.
Showtime is set to feature one final pay-per-view on December 9th, which could feature Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Hearn has vowed that he will impose his will on fighters and managers who wish to have easy fights on his upcoming shows leading into the new year and beyond. Hearn is willing to release fighters from their contracts with him because of his belief that broadcasters can not continuously pay for shows which do not deliver.
“The purses continue to increase, and the advisors and the managers continue to want easy fights that don’t deliver,” Hearn continued. “We [the promoters] are the weak ones because sometimes we let them do it. We will be parting ways with fighters because some of them don’t deliver commercially on the numbers they want and some of them are not prepared to take the fights that we believe they should be taking ... It’s like, ‘guys, you’ve had your warm-up fights – no one is interested.’ We need to make big fights. It doesn’t have to be a 50-50. It can just be competitive ... fighters go stale for inactivity and having irrelevant fights. Every promoter is guilty of it, and we have to stop that ... broadcasters can’t continually pay money for shows that don’t deliver.”
Hearn and Matchroom Boxing are set to Former undefeated lightweight champion Devin Haney’s pursuit of super-lightweight title glory against Regis Prograis in December, which will be followed the following week by the flyweight unification duel between Jesse Rodriguez and Sunny Edwards. Meanwhile, next month, Matchroom will promote a rematch between undisputed super-lightweight champion, Chantelle Cameron and the current undisputed lightweight champion Kate Taylor in Dublin, Ireland, signifying a strong finish to 2023.