By Kennedy: It’s been over a year since Matchroom Boxing Chairman, Mr Eddie Hearn, rocked the boxing world by announcing that his promotional arm was leaving long-time broadcast partner Sky Sports in favor of the streaming service. unknown to DAZN.
DAZN will continue to offer content via its online-only platform, meaning that Hearn’s Matchroom stable of fighters will now be missing from juggernaut Sky Sports’ advertising campaign. There is no more content on Soccer AM for Dillian Whyte, Callum Smith, and co. but Hearn eased any fears by declaring his loud, and often Matchroom-DAZN mantra, “the game has changed.” The only fear that now makes sense in the boxing industry is the fear of Hearn’s rival promoters. With DAZN having the luxury of a multi-billion dollar backing, promoter Matchroom has revealed that his outfit, founded by his father Barry, will inherit all of his competitors once their contracts expire, as if the financial power is now in his hands. Hearn and DAZN executives excitedly announced that the pay-per-view fight would become history. This old model is not fit for purpose, and the future has come, according to Hearn and co. Pay only monthly to see the likes of Anthony Joshua, Canelo Alvarez, Gennadiy Golovkin, and many more. Cheers!
Just over a year, and well, the game hasn’t changed. The game hasn’t changed at all. The PPV is dead mantra didn’t last long, and fans dipped into their wallets this year to pay (on top of their paychecks) to see Canelo vs. Dimitry Bivol, Canelo vs. Golovkin, Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe (although this fight was a promotion of Golden Boy) and more will follow. Chris Eubank Jr vs. Conor Benn was scheduled for DAZN PPV, but this fight was involved in scandal and disaster, which is still developing after the revelation that Conor Benn failed the drug test. It’s clear that Hearn and DAZN executives overestimated the amount of money the app would accept, and ultimately paying Canelo in the $30 million per fight would not be possible without implementing a payment system.
Perhaps even worse than the return to their talk of banishing pay-per-view boxing as a thing of the past is the fact that despite the announcement of the upcoming world domination, Matchroom’s shows have remained strong since the move to DAZN. The early days of DAZN were promising, and it seemed that there was something new to the production, but twelve months on, it is clear that the DAZN team is not enough if Matchroom does not produce quality meat. The cold hard truth is that Hearn’s composure was spread too thin to become the world’s biggest force in boxing. The mainstay of the Matchroom show is now the main event that most fans crave but sadly it has been preceded by a series of undercard fights that are almost always one sided disasters. Fabio Wardley vs Chris Healy, Johnny Fisher moves some unknowns, Felix Cash gets the job as predicted against a fighter expected to beat him. This turned out to be a Matchroom trick because Hearn didn’t have enough depth in the stable to continue to show five-star ratings on a consistent basis, which is really good because no other promoter did, but all the hot air and the repetition. Last year’s “changed game” made the decline in Matchroom quality a disappointment.
What was key to Matchroom and DAZN’s success was the creation of Matchroom USA. This push for promotion in the US will really be the acid test of whether Hearn and his DAZN dollars can lure stateside boxers away from the established wells, Top Rank, PBC, Golden Boy, and Mayweather Promotions. The fact is, no big guns of rival development have jumped to British equipment; in fact, it happened before. Devin Haney was smart enough to be signed by Hearn when he was working on his US program, but he has since released Haney to sign with Top Rank to allow the young American fighter to challenge for the world title. unweighted, which he later ate. Hearn helped Haney make a name for himself, but now that he has, he’ll have an advantage under Bob Arum’s Big Banner. Demetrius Andrade was the WBO world middleweight champion when Hearn signed him, but they recently parted ways because Matchroom was unable to secure a significant fight for Andrade. Matchroom provided Daniel Jacobs with the two biggest fights of his career against Canelo and Golovkin, but despite this, the American fighter did not become a star in the sport, at least in a commercial way.
One could seriously argue that Hearn and Matchroom are still promoting the two most valuable fighters in the business, Canelo Alvarez and Anthony Joshua, and that is true but both fighters come with a caveat. Canelo signs short-term promotional deals and tries to fly to whatever house appears the most profitable. Yes, it is possible that the Mexican will stop by the Matchroom for the release of Bivol and possibly another fight, but the stability in the PBC looks more interesting in terms of possible opponents for the middleweight champion of the world. David Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, and even Errol Spence are all great fights that Canelo could do with Al Haymon’s stuff. Unlike Canelo, Joshua has signed a lifetime contract with Matchroom and DAZN, but you have a feeling that the two-time world heavyweight champion could be one loss away from retirement. There is no doubt that Joshua’s stock has fallen slightly since his victory over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in 2017, and considering his recent form following his defeat in the hands of Oleksandr Usyk in their second fight, maybe you can lose again. be the end of the road for an already very successful fighter.
Hearn has plans for a commercial slot the size of heavyweight Joshua will eventually retire at Matchroom. This emergency program goes by the name of Conor Benn. But after recent events involving Benn’s two drug tests and his plea of not guilty, he angrily decided to leave his British Boxing Authority license in a protest show, it is now very clear that Benn will not be Matchroom. poster boy is ahead. After all the promises of “the game has changed” and “pay-per-view is dead,” the consensus remains that yes, Eddie Hearn speaks out of both sides of his mouth, but fans agree that this is part of Essex interesting. kid shtick The fallout from this Conor Benn fiasco and how Hearn tried and tried to make his fighter appear innocent even though his fans had no evidence to digest beyond the two trials that failure to win ultimately led to a setback for Matchroom’s big man. Everywhere he looked, there was criticism, whether on TalkSport radio show host Simon Jordan or from rival promoters such as Queensbury’s Frank Warren. Between “changing the game,” “pay-per-view is dead,” and going deeper and deeper with every interview he does he calls on his fans to judge Conor Benn on the grounds that Eddie loves him and he cried Eddie’s office. The advertiser sure sounds like he’s been feeling stressed lately. If every criminal was acquitted of his crime after a few tears, the world would be a different place. World domination will now wait for Eddie Hearn, and he should be reminded of the old adage, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same.’ Boxing certainly doesn’t feel like it’s changed that much in twelve months.