By Radio Rahim
Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport is the top boxing promoter in the UK.
On Saturday night, he officially began his anticipated expansion to the American market.
Back in the UK, Hearn promotes numerous top fighters, current world champions and signed the majority of the top UK Olympians from the 2012 and 2016 classes.
BoxingScene.com first reported on Saturday night, that Hearn made his first major signing - former WBA "regular" champion Daniel Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs), who is coming off a very impressive performance against middleweight king Gennady Golovkin in March.
Hearn also assisted, along with Jacobs' manager Keith Connolly, in securing the Brooklyn boxer a lucrative multi-fight agreement with HBO.
Jacobs will not be the last American fighter that Hearn signs up - but he's not going to make the mistake of bringing too many fighters on board - at least right away.
"I'm not going to make the mistake of signing too many fighters and then not being able to deliver my promises on the dates. We expect to sign a handful of fighters, initially... make sure they are active, make an example of them, give them a wonderful survive and then in time we'll grow. Now I'm looking to do between four and six shows in the U.S. next year.... that's it... in year one, and then we'll see where it takes us," Hearn detailed to BoxingScene.com.
In the last few years, Hearn has promoted some monster events in the UK. This past April, Hearn was the lead promoter of massive event at Wembley in London - where 90,000 fans came out to watch Hearn's star fighter, Anthony Joshua, stop Wladimir Klitschko to unify the IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight titles.
Hearn's continued success has been due in part to his exclusive content deal with Sky Sports. Of course the British promoter would love to have the same type of setup with HBO in a few years.
"Probably won't be long that I'm the exclusive provider of content to HBO like I am at Sky. But that might be years down the road. I've got to prove myself in this market. It's not like I'm just going to show up on the East Coast and say 'hey I'm Eddie Hearn, are you all going to come by and buy tickets.' It's not going to work like that. We have to bring something different. We have to make boxing sexy again and we have to make it a night out," Hearn said.
"You've seen it in the UK, time and time again. It's very different, you know. Maybe its a cultural thing. Maybe the Brits just like to go and get drunk, dance around and have a good time. But I believe everyone likes to do that, so why not the Americans as well. Try my shows, see if you like it and grow with us."