Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn has been branded ‘jealous’ by fans after criticism of Dana White’s UFC 249 plans to stage fights at a private island.
White is plowing on with the event despite a global pandemic sweeping the world due to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.
Hearn, who speaks out about everyone else’s business regularly, chipped in with his belief that the idea is down to ‘stubbornness’ on the part of the UFC boss.
“It’s unbelievable, I’d like to think that in boxing, there’s no-one more roll your sleeves up and get on with it than me,” Hearn told Express Sport.
“But even I wouldn’t consider staging an event right now. I’m not even thinking about options, not even on the radar.
“This is stubbornness. These are many of the things that make him successful but at some point, you have to sit back and say ‘white flag’. I’m quite surprised ESPN is going ahead with this, obviously, they want ratings and money.
“But with Sky Sports and DAZN, I would not be allowed to stage events right now. It’s bad taste to be quite honest.”
“He wants to be a trailblazer, people have told him he can’t do it. But I know the feeling of being told something and you do it anyway.
“Half of me admires him for cracking on but the other half says ‘come on don’t be mad’.”
Fans are not convinced by Hearn’s public condemnation, with some believing the Essex man would jump at the chance to do similar had he thought of it first.
“Aww… Little Eddie is jealous,” said one.
Others stated: “Says the guy who put two YouTubers in the main event of a boxing event and relegated one of his champions (Billy Joe Saunders) into the co-main event.
“Nobody is on board with Eddie Hearn.”
“It is a risk but if he pulls it off then people will love him for it. If it goes t–s up and people catch the virus then the shit will obviously hit the fan.
“UFC is superb and raw anyway. The fights can still be amazing with no fans. The private island idea is bonkers.”
On how the disease has affected his own dealings, Hearn added: “It hasn’t really affected our business too much. Financially we’re okay, other than some initial costs which we couldn’t get back.
“We’ve built up a decent business over the last eight years, we’re in a strong position with good liquidity.”