by Andy Ayling/Queensberry Promotions
In response to Barry Hearn’s latest ‘Tweet’ on Saturday where, seemingly he took offence at not being permitted to enter the ring at the conclusion of the Billy Joe Saunders v John Ryder fight, Queensberry Promotions would like to state the following:
1. Mr Hearn claims that it was Mr Frank Warren who denied him access to the ring, which is inaccurate.
2. Purse Bids for the Saunders V Ryder fight were called for by the BBBofC and were initially won by Barry’s son, Eddie. However, when Eddie failed to fill in a simple document correctly, despite his costly public school education, the BBBofC cancelled his bid and called for a second round of Purse Offers.
3. The Purse Offer was then won by Promoter Andy Ayling, who was the Promoter of Saturday night’s contest, not Mr Warren, following his bid of £102,000 which secured John Ryder his biggest purse to date.
4. All standard Purse Offer contracts have a Clause (16) that clearly states that a ‘Boxer is entitled to bring in 1 extra person to deal with his financial affairs.’
a) At no point in the evening did Barry Hearn approach the Promoter regarding any financial matters on behalf of John Ryder. In fact John Ryder had already been paid in full prior to Mr Hearn arriving at the venue. John Ryder was paid in the presence of his licenced manager, Tony Sims and signed the paperwork personally.
b) Barry Hearn is not the Manager of John Ryder and his Manager was present throughout the whole evening and worked in his corner, therefore Mr Hearn had no entitlement to be granted any access to the arena, but such access was granted as a courtesy by Queensberry Promotions.
5. Prior to the fight John Wischhusen, who Queensberry Promotions have the utmost respect for, sent a text to Andy Ayling asking if Barry Hearn could be given four tickets for the fight for himself, his driver (at least this vacancy has now been filled), boxer Wadi Camacho and former heavyweight Jess Harding. This courtesy was afforded to Mr Hearn and he was given two VIP seats and two further tickets for his other associates free of charge.
6. Despite being afforded this courtesy, Mr Hearn abused our hospitality by talking his way through the security cordon and then parking his Bentley in a way that obstructed the two Ambulances that were strategically positioned to ensure quick exit, should any boxer need urgent medical attention. Ironically, this event took place on Saturday 21st September 2013, exactly 22 years since the Michael Watson tragedy. That show was promoted by Mr Hearn and the lack of ringside Medical/Ambulance provisions were heavily criticised in the High Court and were deemed to be a factor in the successful case brought by Mr Watson against the BBBofC.
7. Mr Hearn also managed to ‘blag’ his way into our Private Bar along with his entourage and seemed quite at ease in the company of people that he constantly snipes about on Twitter. He had no shame in drinking alongside LLC executives, whose time and money he is wasting with his futile attempt to acquire his loss-making football club, Leyton Orient a tenancy at the 60,000 seat Olympic stadium, despite their average gate being less than half of the capacity of the Copper Box Arena.
8. At no time did Mr Hearn seek to be granted the proper credentials needed to gain access to the ring. He is neither a licensed trainer or second nor has he acquired the BBBofC’s mandatory medical certificate that is needed to be allowed in a corner. Mr Hearn had no business to be in the ring and it served no purpose for him to be in there at the end of the contest.
9. The Boxing Board of Control rules are very clear that only licenced Trainers, Managers and Seconds are allowed to enter the ring with their Boxers before, during or after any contest unless prior permission has been granted by the Board. No permission was sought, requested or given and therefore Mr Hearn had no reason or right to enter the ring at any time. For safety reasons, it is imperative that the bare minimum of people enter the ring at the conclusion of any bout as this is paramount to the safety of both Boxers, who may need attention or worse collapse following a hard bout. Another factor in the Michael Watson case was the delay in attending to Michael Watson in the ring, caused by too many unnecessary people being in the ring at the time and causing an obstruction to vital medical personnel.
10. On a less serious note it is Queensberry Promotions opinion that the paying public and Television viewers wish to see the Boxers in the ring and not the countless other people who are there simply for self-promotion. To his credit, at least Barry waited until the fight was actually over before attempting access, unlike his son at a recent Carl Froch fight.
11. Mr Hearn’s office failed to request accreditation in advance, which, had they have done may have been granted. Further, he might have been legitimately invited into the bar and indeed a space for his Bentley could have been accommodated next to Mr Ayling’s own Bentley. Unfortunately, without a Car Park pass and with a regular number plate, it was hard to identify Mr Hearn’s vehicle or we would have asked him move it to allow the Ambulances safe exit instead of having to reposition them. Perhaps, after reflection, Mr Hearn may wish to consider how he would react if an unauthorised person attempted to gain access to the pitch at Leyton Orient or acted like this at one of his own events.
12. We have spoken to the security guard concerned who rightly stated that his remit is to “look at passes and not faces.” And he does not recall ever seeing Barry Hearn at the ring steps. He did however, vaguely recall denying access to someone he mistakenly thought was TV presenter Paul O’Grady.
In conclusion, It is a great shame that the arrogance and misplaced sense of self-importance of Mr Hearn and his poorly timed ‘Tweets’ have been highlighted rather than what was a great show and also a very emotional evening for everyone involved in boxing and Queensberry Promotions in particular, who are mourning the loss of their close friend Dean Powell.
Mr Hearn’s habitual self-promotion has also taken the shine off a great performance by John Ryder in a fight that should have been the talking point instead. It appears Mr Hearn feels that by being John Ryder's Promoter his position and rights should be respected and acknowledged by others, despite his own company constantly disrespecting and failing to acknowledge the rights and contracts of others.
We fail to see why Mr Hearn has made such an issue of this when this is not the first time that he has justifiably been refused access to an Olympic venue.
On a positive note, Queensberry Promotions would like to place on record that John Ryder and his corner team acted professionally, courteously and with class before, during and after Saturday’s emotional event and were a credit to the sport of boxing.
It’s a shame the same cannot be said of Barry Hearn.