Eddie Hearn loosens stranglehold on UK market, plots Al Haymon raid in bid for American longevity
Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn is ready to offer several Premier Boxing Champions fighters a better payday to make the move across to his soon-to-be expanding USA stable.
Following a lucrative announcement of a streaming deal with DAZN over eight years, Hearn now has the power to compete and even better PBC head of boxing Al Haymon.
UK-based Hearn wants to kick-off the lucrative new venture this coming September and will spend the summer recruiting a host of new talent from the other side of the Atlantic.
Rumors of financial cutbacks at Haymon’s PBC stable, which premiered when breaking away from Golden Boy Promotions in 2015, could leave Hearn in a similar position to when Sky Sports decided to go solo with Matchroom.
At the time, Hearn was able to pick off the best fighters at will, bringing the likes of Kell Brook, James DeGale, Anthony Crolla and Scott Quigg across the divide from his main rivals.
Haymon has a plethora of big American names and current world champions in a precarious position, with Keith Thurman, Jermell and Jermall Charlo, Leo Santa Cruz, Adrien Broner, Erislandy Lara, Errol Spence Jr. and even Deontay Wilder on Hearn’s radar of future purchases.
With a billion dollar deal to sell these stars, many of whom have only a short window of opportunity left in their careers, it could be an important first step for Hearn in his quest to dominate the sport on two continents.
Danny Jacobs and Jarrell Miller joining marked the beginning of a new era, whilst established UK names like Amir Khan, Anthony Joshua and Tony Bellew will only add to the appeal of the US market.
Potentially compensating for the parital loss of Joshua, who is believed to be looking into taking more control of his career alongside Hearn on the Showtime paid stage, Matchroom have loosened their stranglehold on the UK at a time when BT Sport is aiming to expand.
So could this backfire on Hearn?
Yes, in a way it could. But only in the British market, something Hearn would be willing to sacrifice in his determination to crack America.
It’s always been the son of Barry’s intention to lead the way in the biggest financial pool of them all, although dropping his home dates with Sky to 16 as BT and Warren bring 20 to the table should simply be seen as collateral damage to Hearn.
Tyson Fury, Carl Frampton and Billy Joe Saunders will now all feature solely on BT Sports, who are also plotting some kind of PPV format to rival Sky’s Box Office service.
All in all, everything seems to be great news for the UK fans, who will be able to look forward to 32 dates (US and UK) from Sky Sports and 20 from Warren alongside BT Sport.
Add to that more international action from BoxNation (despite losing relevance to BT), British armchair fans will have an abundance of options are their fingertips after the summer.
Hearn will still be keen to offer his biggest stars appearances on Showtime and HBO PPV as and when the opportunity presents itself, with promises to keep DAZN away from such being kept for the duration of the agreement.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay