IS it time for Britain and Eddie Hearn to say goodbye to each other? It has seemed for some time that Hearn has been playing the part of some sort of Gordon Gekko-type character for the modern day, asset-stripping the UK boxing scene to line Matchroom’s pockets. It seems like a long time since the British fight fan was able to see weekly or even fortnightly UK-based cards up and down the country. It now seems that the standard fare for Matchroom is maybe a once-a-month British show in between jaunts to America, Monaco and the rest. The Matchroom stable also appears thinner on quality UK-based fighters coming through the ranks, with a few notable exceptions. As for Eddie’s newfound love of YouTuber boxing, well, this is of course truly awful. It may even be the case that Britain has seen the last of Anthony Joshua in the flesh. The amazing nights in London and Cardiff could soon be a distant memory as we adjust our watches to Saudi time. So, maybe, if Adam Smith is reading this, how about Sky Sports says goodbye to Matchroom’s ever-expanding US stable, and let’s get some cracking UK barnburners back on the box with some even-money dustups.
DAVE RODEN, 1950-2020
I WAS very sorry to learn of the death of Dave Roden on February 5, following many years of illness. Dave had been a Director of the Commonwealth Boxing Council since the company was incorporated in 1997, at which time he was a Steward of the British Boxing Board of Control – a post he held until illness forced him out of that position. Prior to that, Dave had been a pro boxer, amassing a record of 11 wins and eight losses between 1971 and 1974. He was a principal sparring partner to Joe Bugner and he defeated former Schoolboy sensation, Graham Sines. His last contest saw him lose a challenge for the Midlands Area heavyweight title against Rocky Campbell. After his career in the ring, he became a manager for the likes of Roger Guest and Achille “Speedy” Mitchell. Dave was also a successful businessman – everything he had, he got by dint of his own hard work. Like everything else he did in life, Dave pursued his role as a CBC Director with endless enthusiasm. He had been much missed since illness prevented him from attending our meetings five years ago. Dave was a big and generous man with a big and generous heart. I can speak for his colleagues on the CBC Board to say how saddened they will all be at his passing. Simon Block, Commonwealth Boxing Council