Last week, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing announced that they would be staging a massive PPV card at the O2 Arena, London, on July 28th, headlined by Dillian Whyte v Joseph Parker.
Following from that announcement, a stacked undercard to accompany the two big-hitting heavyweights was announced, featuring the likes of Joshua Buatsi, Katie Taylor and Kell Brook.
The choice of Kell Brook’s little-known opponent, Brandon Cook, attracted criticism from some quarters on social media Eddie Hearn defended the pick in a one-on-one interview with WBN.
“It is what it is: It’s an undercard fight on a PPV card. Brandon Cook is ranked 11 with the IBF, seven with the WBA and four with the WBO and it puts Kell Brook top five in every governing body if he wins.” Hearn exclusively told World Boxing News.
Brook has been linked with big world title fights against the likes of Jarrett Hurd and Jermell Charlo at 154lbs, but Hearn sees this as a stepping stone to those fights for Brook.
“He’s game, he’s tough, he went to Kazakhstan and fought Kanat Islam – who is very, very, very good – and lost in the tenth round,” Hearn said of Cook.
“I’m not saying it’s Jarrett Hurd or Jermell Charlo, but it’s a solid fight that gets him in the rankings,” the Matchroom boss added.
What seems to be the main source of complaint from fans and rival promoters like Frank Warren is that the card has been announced as a PPV, but Hearn thinks people get too obsessed with the idea.
Defending the PPV, Hearn said: “I think sometimes with PPV people get this warped obsession with rebelling against it, it’s like ‘just chill out you can either go out for a few beers that night or you can sit at home and watch a good night of boxing’.”
It will be a huge fight for Whyte, who has fought himself to the top of the governing body rankings since his loss to Anthony Joshua in 2015 and Hearn sees this as further justification for the PPV, especially considering the risk he’s taking.
“To get Dillian Whyte seven figures which I want to give him, which he deserves – he’s been through everyone he’s been asked to go through – this is how we have to do it.
“I can’t give him three hundred grand to fight on a normal Saturday night fight night, having paid Joseph Parker what I’m paying him,” Hearn said.
Hearn had one last message for the fans who have complaints, saying: “If you really feel that disgruntled about this PPV just remember that Whyte is putting everything on the line, including his world title aspirations, to be in a fifty-fifty fight – one he doesn’t have to be in.
“He’s going to get paid very well and you’re a contributor to the night of Dillian Whyte, and this is his night.”
Thomas Davison is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Thomas on Twitter @thomasdavison93