Two of boxing’s biggest promoters might have a beef to settle, at least of the purse bid variety.
Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn ($3,506,000) outbid Top Rank boss Arum ($2,315,000) during the Teofimo Lopez Jr. and George Kambosos Jr. IBF purse bid on Thursday, only to have Triller owner Ryan Kavanaugh trump them both with a winning sum more than double their amounts in $6,018,000.
Arum is tied to ESPN, while Hearn is with DAZN.
The WBA, WBO, IBF and WBC lightweight franchise Lopez has been promoted by Top Rank throughout his four-plus year career.
Arum deemed Hearn’s move as a low blow since he has no ties to Lopez or the Lou Dibella-promoted Kambosos.
“For us it wasn’t a big fight. No harm, no foul [with Triller winning the bid]. If Hearn won the bid, we’d have a lot of explaining to do to ESPN. But [ESPN] understands that the fight was not worth anything near $6 million,” Arum told BoxingScene.com in an interview minutes after the purse bid finished Thursday.
“We would have been pissed if Eddie Hearn and Matchroom put in the winning bid. That’s bad policy for him to do that because he has nothing to do with Teofimo. Hearn gets into a lot of purse bids and we don’t ever get involved if we don’t have a connection with the fighter. It makes no sense for them to put Lopez on DAZN. It’s just wrong.
“But he lost and pissed us off at the same time. It sent a message to us. But he better watch out the next time he goes to a purse bid when the fighters have no connection to ESPN or Top Rank. Maybe we’ll jam a bid up Hearn’s ass. We’ll get back at them. I’m angry at them, yeah.”
Arum and Hearn have worked together numerous times over the years pitting their fighters against each other.
Both company heads are also working closely together to stage the super fight involving Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua later this summer.
Arum insisted that Hearn’s side swipe won’t derail their working relationship to put on the heavyweight showdown.
“Oh s---, we’re all pros. What are we going to do, be angry at him during negotiations when everyone is going to make a lot of money? That’s stupid,” said Arum.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com