Boxing in America could be in for a huge shake-up after Eddie Hearn announced his intentions to create an USA-based arm of Matchroom Sports.
The 34-year-old revealed plans to open a boxing business Stateside in what would be a huge move for the sport on both sides of the Atlantic.
In a market heavily monopolised by two big firms, Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, Hearn’s venture could make it a three-way battle for promotional supremacy.
Speaking to IFLTV, Hearn said: “It’s something I’ve thought about for a while. The landscape is right over here [in the USA] now. Without being disrespectful, a lot of the promoters are quite old and it’s a great opportunity for a young promoter and a young company to come in.
“There is a big opportunity for us out here. Over the next couple of months we’re going to try and put that in place, talk to broadcasters and get our head around the market, looking at potential fighters as well.”
The dominance of the big two promoters puts most other shows, such as ones shown on ESPN, into relative darkness and coverage of these shows outside of America is mostly non-existent.
With Golden Boy and Top Rank continuing their refusal to work with one another, Hearn’s new stable could ensure their premier fighters get competitive fights outside of their own stables, assuming he manages fighters of quality and doesn’t churn out one-sided bouts.
Hearn is both respected and acknowledged as a top promoter across the pond, regularly working with foreign promoters to stage fights both overseas and on British soil.
In particular, he wants to tackle the marketing of boxers and commented that “a lot of fighters aren’t being promoted properly”.
The Matchroom supremo was talking ahead of the weigh-in for last Saturday’s showdown at the Barclays Arena. Ruslan Provodnikov’s light-welterweight clash with Chris Algieri featured as the main event, while Hearn’s fighter Brian Rose challenged Demetrius Andrade for a light-middleweight scrap.
Only weigh-ins for top PPV clashes draw any sort of crowd as punters try to catch a glimpse of the megastars, but similar events in Britain regularly attract a sizeable three-figure crowd, occasionally even delving into the thousands.
Fighters under Matchroom’s stewardship generally have large followings, staging shows in the headline fighter’s home city to maximise exposure and increase crowds.
And the lack of support is an issue he will attempt to exploit: “There’s just no support. Algieri is a 19-0 kid, fighting for a world title and his family are at the weigh-in, then you’ve got 200 people from Blackpool to support Brian Rose,” said Hearn, commenting on the differing nature of support.
If any deal comes through, Hearn expects it to be in place later this year at the earliest.
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