FRANK WARREN has told Boxing News that he had made offers for Kell Brook to fight Liam Smith and Luke Campbell to fight Terry Flanagan, but that Hearn had not responded. Hearn confirmed the offers but claimed the money being floated was simply not right – though he also noted that he is still happy to work with Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.
“The offer to fight Liam Smith was a while ago,” he told BN.
“There have been a couple of offers for Campbell to fight Flanagan and both involved money that we wouldn’t consider.
“The communication between us and Queensberry [Promotions] is decent, I spoke to Andy Ayling the other day. I may try and make [Jamie] McDonnell against [Paul] Butler and that’s on their show, it’s a good offer. I have no problem, if it’s a good offer and a good fighter and it’s a better offer that I can offer then we’ll do it.”
Earlier in the year Hearn told us that the frosty relationship between the two sides was thawing out and that he had continual dialogue with Queensberry.
We have seen fighters from opposing sides fighting on the other promotional team’s platform, for example Bradley Skeete – promoter by Warren – defeating Sam Eggington on a Matchroom show broadcasted on Sky. However that fight had gone to purse bids and was won by Hearn.
When it comes to making the bigger fights, such as Brook-Smith or a potential clash between Anthony Crolla and Flanagan, talks have not been as fruitful.
Warren’s recent broadcast deal with BT Sport looks set to change the landscape however. Along with BoxNation, they are set to show 20 live British shows and a further 40 (30 of which will be international).
“I’m working more now on securing some big international fights for Sky,” Hearn continued.
“That’s what I’ve been doing out in America. I’m not looking to do 30 shows a year, I’m looking to do maybe 16 quality shows a year. You’ve got ITV, BT Sport etc. There’s a lot going on. It’s good for boxing, I’m quite relaxed, taking more of a backseat now.”
One such international fight secured for Sky Sports is IBF super-middleweight champion James DeGale’s January unification meeting with WBC boss Badou Jack.
The British boxing broadcast market took on a re-emerging player last week when ITV made the announcement that they would stage their first pay-per-view show, headlined by Chris Eubank Jnr’s bizarre super-middle fight with Renold Quinlan.
Eubank was previously under contract with Hearn, with a view to getting a fight with middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin. Hearn served that bout up to Eubank on a platter, but the Brightonian failed to agree terms.
“I can’t understand it. I knew he was going to do something on ITV but I presumed it would be something that would build his profile, do big numbers. Not something against someone, with all due respect, a complete nobody on pay-per-view,” Hearn said of Eubank Jnr’s move to ITV.
Hearn – currently the only promoter in the UK staging pay-per-view cards – is baffled by ITV’s decision to broach the market, particularly with such a low-key fight. Quinlan has only fought 12 times since debuting in 2008, and his only win of note came over a badly faded Daniel Geale earlier this year.
With two other huge pay-per-view events (David Haye-Tony Bellew and Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko) already confirmed for the first half of 2017, ITV’s card could suffer further still. Hearn said: “Maybe this is the only way they could afford him, but it’s not going to do any buys, it’s a strange model. If I did this fight as the main fight on Saturday Fight Night, I would get absolutely destroyed on social media. This is a pay-per-view fight, it’s absolute madness.”