Promoter Eddie Hearn will unveil eight new signings in the USA when he announces the opening ‘one or two shows’ of his new US mega-deal in New York on July 17.
Hearn, who said he has signed seven boxers – including a couple of world champions – is still in the market to add to his Stateside stable.
“One thing that’s gone really well is the youth stars, coming out of the national team because I think we’re battling the system with some of the top guys,” Hearn said of attracting new fighters. “But with the other kids they’re fresh and clean so they haven’t got anything in mind or anyone in their ear and they’re talking to everyone, they’re liking what we’re doing and we’re getting them.”
Are any of the names going to send shockwaves through the sport?
“In terms of the Mikey Garcias, the Charlos, we do need a flagship star guy like that,” he admitted. “We’ve got some A-listers signing but I still feel that we are searching for that golden goose, and there’s not many of them. The golden goose is – and these aren’t guys we’ve approached – someone like Lomachenko, Crawford, Garcia, Thurman, Spence, those kind of guys – so Mikey Garcia is very interesting and he’s a very smart guy. He boxes on July 28, as soon as that’s over we sit down but as you can imagine you’ve got Showtime, Haymon… But it’s fine, because it’s only the same as we had here [in the UK].”
Hearn said he was not just looking at fight programming, but introducing new shows to DAZN.
“We want to do a lot of 24/7 style stuff but also don’t rule out the link up with other broadcasters to show the boxing because one of the arguments would be, ‘Oh, you’re only doing 200,000 homes,’ something like that. By the way, Showtime is only doing 4-500,000 but we could link up with a massive broadcaster to show the fights later that night, or show them delayed the following day, so that’s going to counteract that argument as well.”
He has spoken of the cross-pollination of his stables, US and UK, and while he has Callum Johnson heading out to face Artur Beterbiev on October 6, Tommy Coyle set to box stateside and light-heavyweight Hosea Burton (who “might be in quite a sizable fight” to be announced soon), Kal Yafai and Katie Taylor are also set to continue impressing in the US.
But it could work both ways and some American boxers have expressed an interest fighting in Britain.
“Yes, they have,” he confirmed. “I’ve probably underestimated that a little bit. “When I’ve talked to these guys they’ve said, ‘Will I get to box in the UK,’ and I’ve said, “Not really, the money is in America with DAZN. So we will have to see.”
Will there be any UK v US evenings?
“Not theme nights,” he continued. “But there will be a lot of our guys going out there to be in a big fights and probably vice versa. Someone like Kal Yafai would be incredibly suited over there. Ryan Burnett might be suited to being over there and guys in those weight classes might have a bigger market over there. Then you’ve got Kell [Brook], you’ve got Amir [Khan], you’ve got [Anthony] Joshua, all these guys that are capable of boxing on both sides.”
For Hearn, who has expanded his staff to 24 to handle operations on both sides of the Atlantic has added three bodies to his UK team and eight in America, who work out of the Perform offices.
And he wants to build fighters and their brands from the ground up.
“One of the focuses is we have to make these guys stars in their hometowns,” he explained. “I’m just shocked that you’ve got fighters who’ve never boxed in their hometowns and no one knows who they are in their hometowns. Look at when Wilder goes to Alabama, or Crawford goes to Omaha. Those are scenes. That’s what we want. We don’t want to necessarily just go to New York, LA, Vegas. We want to go to new towns and cities that aren’t exposed to boxing. Look, ESPN are going to New Orleans. Brilliant. It was like when we went to Newcastle the other week because people weren’t used to it.”
And for Hearn, his first ‘huge’ US show is pencilled in for November 17, on one of the four enormous US shows he has promised to be either ‘orgasmic’ or a ‘blockbuster.’