Sampson Lewkowicz could not help but roll his eyes when he saw Eddie Hearn making the rounds on social media.
Lewkowicz is the promoter of highly regarded 168-pound contender David Benavidez, who has cropped up in the news for calling out two-division titlist Demetrius Andrade, the slick southpaw promoted by Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, to a showdown sometime in the near future. Andrade, a longtime reigning champion at 160, is looking to make his start at the super middleweight in his next fight, against England's Zach Parker.
Hearn recently tweeted a video produced by Matchroom in which Benavidez is shown reiterating his desire to fight Andrade, signing off with the words, “Let’s make it happen, Eddie.” Hearn offered his affirmation in the same post, “Yes, please!”
Lewkowicz found Hearn’s tweet wanting and hollow and suggested that if Hearn was serious about that fight, the British impresario would have already called Lewkowicz or one of his colleagues. Lewkowicz is one of a handful of promoters who work closely, if not exclusively, with Al Haymon, the architect behind Premier Boxing Champions, under whose banner Benavidez has fought for the past several years.
“Eddie Hearn, if he really wants [to make] the fight – and get rid of Andrade because he made a bad deal – he will call me up,” Lewkowicz told BoxingScene.com. “He didn’t call me up because he doesn’t want to go through the process of [making the fight].”
Benavidez, a former two-time titlist at super middleweight, has a fight lined up in the spring against Canadian puncher David Lemieux, although it has not yet been officially announced.
While Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) appears raring to get in the ring with Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs), a skilled fighter whose career has taken a hit from his inability to attract top-shelf competition, Lewkowicz does not share the same desire as his charge. Lewkowicz’s problem is that Andrade brings little entertainment value in the ring. Lewkowicz stated that he would not countenance a Benavidez-Andrade fight if it did not involve an exorbitant purse for Benavidez – in excess of, say, $7 million, the figure Hearn said he once offered to Benavidez’s PBC stablemate Jermall Charlo, the middleweight titleholder – his reason being that there is little to gain in defeating Andrade, whose bland style would need to be offset by higher compensation. On the other hand, Lewkowicz said Benavidez would be more than happy to take a “pay cut” against undisputed super middleweight Canelo Alvarez, since there would be tremendous upside in defeating the sport's presumed top fighter.
“With Andrade, he’s a stinker fighter,” Lewkowicz said. Nobody wants to fight him. If Benavidez knocks him out, it’ll look bad for him still.
“Canelo [comes] to the table as the number one, best fighter in the world. That means much more than money. Andrade doesn’t bring the best. Andrade brings nothing. Nobody wants to fight him for the title. Regardless of whether or not you beat him, you look bad.”
Lewkowicz added, “I believe this fight will never happen.”
Lewkowicz said he agreed with Alvarez when he famously told Andrade to his face that he was a “horrible fighter” during a press conference held after Alvarez’s division-unifying win over Caleb Plant last November. Lewkowicz said Andrade has essentially become an undesirable asset for Hearn.
“Eddie Hearn definitely made a bad deal [with Andrade],” Lewkowicz said. “Andrade is a stinker. He’s not a horrible fighter…I don’t want to say that. But it is what it is. I agree with Canelo. I cannot say it. But I can agree.
“Eddie Hearn absolutely has no interest [in Benavidez-Andrade],” Lewkowicz continued. “I don’t know if he even wants to see it himself. That’s the problem with Eddie Hearn.”