Words spoken by Hall of Famer Bob Arum in the run-up to Saturday night’s fight night in Pheonix may now be ringing in the ears of rival Eddie Hearn.
The Top Rank boss called for Hearn’s license to be taken away BEFORE Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was embroiled in a farcical event opposite Daniel Jacobs.
Days prior to Chavez failing weight, being docked $1 million dollars, backing out of the fight after five rounds and subsequently being pelted with hot dogs and beer before citing a headbutt, elbow and breathing problems before asking for a rematch, Arum had blasted the whole progression of the Mexican’s involvement.
Refusing to take a drug test in Nevada, Chavez was initially banned from boxing. Hearn then moved the fight out of ‘Sin City’ to Arizona.
The fight was never fully confirmed despite tickets being sold until the week of the show. This was due to the NSAC giving the go-ahead and stopping proceedings against it.
Hearn has since taken a huge amount of flak due to how the main event unfolded as a riot broke out and fans throw whatever they could at Chavez, Jacobs and poor announcer Michael Buffer.
Ring cards were used as shields to help those taking cover get out of the arena safely. Some are now firmly laying blame at the door of Hearn.
Arum had already given his stern view of what was happening in an interview on December 11.
“(Eddie Hearn and Matchroom are) in a strong position in the UK where the fans really buy tickets,” Arum told reporters, including FightHype who captured the rant on video. “But he’s falling on his ass in the United States because he doesn’t understand the market. And (he) says stupid things.
“And what he’s doing now with Chavez, putting himself at risk with the Nevada Commission, is senseless.
“Any promoter who tries to put on a fight with a fighter who is suspended by a commission in the United States, should have his license taken away and not be allowed to promote.
“If we don’t respect the laws. We don’t respect the Muhammad Ali Act, then we have nothing. I don’t care where guy comes from.
“His excuse may be that he’s out of the country. But he should know the rules. You don’t take a fighter who is suspended by a commission, and then take him to another commission or anywhere else to get licensed. You just don’t do that or otherwise, you destroy the sport.
“Once a fight is announced, the Nevada Commission has jurisdiction to test a fighter. A lot of fighters take performance enhancing drugs and then clear their system by the press conference. So if you wait until the press conference you will miss that they took performance enhancing drugs.
“The NSAC sent a VADA agent to Chavez’s camp at the Wild Card. The guy waited all day and Chavez refused to get tested. Now that’s grounds for suspension. That’s what the Nevada Commission did.
“What Eddie Hearn is trying to do, by going around the Nevada Commission and taking it to the Arizona Commission – which is a violation of federal law in trying get him licensed, is a disgrace. Everyone who cares about boxing should step up and let their voices be heard.
“He doesn’t understand the laws in the United States. He is totally in disregard. And he’s a guy who has operated under the British Boxing Board of Control. This is not a government agency.
“It’s an organization set up by the promoters and they have different rules and standards unlike the ones in the United States, which are government agencies.”
On the current trend with DAZN to give massive purses to fighters, like the millions Chavez earned for one solitary bout, Arum wasn’t finished by a long shot.
“DAZN has not been successful in the United States,” he pointed out. “They have not gotten any traction to speak of with all of the millions that they’ve spent on their boxing in the United States, except for one guy, and that is Canelo Alvarez.
“Canelo has done tremendous numbers. The people who run DAZN, above Eddie Hearn, they are not boxing people. And what does that tell them? – That Canelo gets all of the subscribers that DAZN has.
“So (because of this fact) they have to go out and get Hispanics. Get prominent Hispanics that move the needle.
“You know and I know that Chavez has disgraced himself before, that that he fought Canelo and didn’t throw a punch. And that most people in boxing see him as a joke.
“You know that and I know that. But he speaks Spanish so let’s get him for Daniel Jacobs,” he concluded.
Arum is a long-time slater of Hearn’s work across the Atlantic but has since seen mud slung back over the fence.
“Thank you to everyone. Thank you to the haters and thank you Bob Arum!” said Hearn at the Jacobs vs Chavez Jr. press conference. “He had plenty to say. I saw his comments.
“He’s cleaner than clean, right? This is a guy who wanted to take Antonio Margarito to another state after he found cement in his hand wraps.”