by Shaun Brown
Promoter Eddie Hearn is gearing up for another massive event at Wembley Stadium this weekend which sees Anthony Joshua defend his world heavyweight titles against Alexander Povetkin live on Sky Box Office. Boxing Scene caught up with Hearn today (Monday, September 17) to discuss what lies beyond that for some of his fighters and shows in the remaining months.
The first topic of conversation centred on whether any plans for Amir Khan against Manny Pacquaio have been scuppered following a video, which appeared on social media over the weekend, showing an apparent verbal agreement between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao to fight one another in a rematch later this year.
BoxingScene: Did you see all the Mayweather-Pacquiao footage? Is it interfering with a potential Khan-Pacquiao fight?
Hearn: You've got to think it's rubbish, haven't you? I saw a couple of reports from Manny saying 'We're very close to finalising, should be done this week'. If it's true then it makes the Brook fight a lot more likely because Amir has two choices, they're his own choices, they're the fights he wants and that's Pacquiao or Brook. I think, as he's made it clear from a global scale, he would like the Pacquiao fight but he's not going to wait around for a Pacquiao fight. He's ready to fight in December or very early next year. If that fight does take place it makes the Brook fight closer to reality.
BoxingScene: Is (WBA super middleweight champion) Rocky Fielding going to be back out this year?
Hearn: Well Sauerland have an option on Fielding. That's why it's taking a bit of time because when he fought [Tyron] Zeuge they had an option on him for his next fight, so they've got to let us know that in the next couple of days when and where that is. He'll be boxing in December, basically. But who it's against will largely depend on what fight they want to do with us or which of their guys they want to put in with Fielding. Would it be Abraham? Would it be Zach Parker? Would it be Feigenbutz?
BoxingScene: Are you going to up against the Frampton-Warrington PPV with one of your own?
Hearn: Probably, yeah. We have December 22 at the O2 (Arena). The problem we've got at the moment, with the new deals we're going to be announcing in the next month or so, we're going to be doing close to 50 shows a year (home and abroad). It's impossible we're not going to be conflicting, but in that scenario we are the dominant pay per view on the night. Not meaning to sound arrogant but we don't see going up against Warrington-Frampton as a problem. It's not ideal. It's not ideal for them, it's not ideal for us! It's not ideal for fight fans but unfortunately it's the only date that's available to stage Whyte-Chisora. There's no other venue that can even cope with that kind of capacity unless we go outdoors and it's not an outdoor fight. If we were up against Fury-Wilder we wouldn't go, but we're not. We're up against a good domestic fight that's going to do 50,000 buys. We can't say 'Oh we're not gonna go because there's a fight on that night'. We've got that problem every single Saturday. On October 27 HBO requested the Danny Jacobs fight. There's the World Boxing Super Series that night on DAZN with Prograis v Flanagan. On that same night I've got the Copper Box show. On November 17 we're due to do an event in America, we're waiting on Wilder-Fury because it was going to clash. We've been having to stand by and wait. October 20 with Saunders-Andrade, you've got Murata going on ESPN from Vegas. It's just how it is and it's going to get worse and worse and worse, and there's to many people to talk to. We're not going to sit down with Warren and start going through his schedule and ESPN aren't going to sit down with us and start going through our schedule because it's dog eat dog. If I had a choice I'd go on December 15, that'd be my ideal date. Saying that as well we may do Brook-Khan on December 15 because that's the date we've got held at the Millennium Stadium.
BoxingScene: And would you do two pay-per-views back to back?
Hearn: No. At the moment there's no deal either. We've got a possible Brook-Khan on December 15 and a possible Whyte-Chisora on December 22. A lot depends on Whyte and what happens in the AJ fight this weekend because the WBO mandatory is next, that's what we have to do unless we fight Wilder and Wilder's not even entertained conversations to make the fight so how can we even contemplate making that fight? Basically, if Whyte is the WBO mandatory or someone else is we have to fight them next if it's not Wilder. If we're fighting Whyte in April does he fight in December? Or does he even fight a fight like that in December or does he go to the States and have a run out there? A lot is hinging on Wembley this weekend in terms of what the next move is for quite a few guys.
BoxingScene: Is there any updates on your Monte Carlo show on November 24?
Hearn: That's all going to be announced next week. So there will be a British fighter in a world title fight, there will be four title fights in total. It'll be announced next week.
BoxingScene: The Usyk-Bellew card will definitely have the Walsh-Lowe rematch won't it?
Hearn: Walsh-Lowe for the British Featherweight title and I'm targeting Joe Cordina against Scotty Cardle on there. But also if Lewis Ritson wins on October 13th we'll be petitioning that fight (Cordina v Cardle) for the British title as well because Ritson would vacate. So if Ritson wins the European title on the 13th hopefully Cardle-Cordina will be for the British and Commonwealth. We're also planning a final eliminator for the WBA lightweight title, there's talks now between Anthony Crolla and Daud Yordan.
BoxingScene: And would that be it in terms of high profile fights?
Hearn: No. So we'd have Crolla-Yordan, hopefully. We'd have Cordina against Cardle, Walsh against Lowe, Josh Kelly defending his WBA International welterweight title fight and one other title fight to be added.
BoxingScene: John Ryder beats Andrey Sirotkin next month he gets a shot at the winner of Groves against Smith?
Hearn: There hasn't been a mandatory for Groves since he won against Chudinov, so this will be a third fight without a mandatory because obviously he's been in the World Boxing Super Series. If Groves wins or Smith wins they're not going to box again probably until the summer to be honest with you. Certainly April/May. There is the chance that Ryder could fight Fielding if he wins. John's not going to sit out from October until May/June. It's a very tough fight against Sirotkin. Not a lot of people know about Sirotkin but he's a good fighter. He's quite highly thought of in Russia but John's on a good spell at the moment, it's a 50-50. It's a good card.
BoxingScene: So at the moment there does seem to be a lot of things up in the air and waiting to get signed off for the rest of the year.
Hearn: If you look at the rest of the year we've got Ritson on October 13. October 27 which is set. November 10 which will be Bellew-Usyk, hopefully Crolla-Yordan, Cardle-Cordina, Walsh-Lowe, Kelly plus one other. Then we'll be going on December 1 or 8 as well in the UK.
Hearn: I'm not sure yet but that'll be a Saturday Fight Night. And then you've got Monaco on November 24 and then you've got December 15 or 22 which will be our pay per view to close the year.
BoxingScene: Will Jamie McDonnell return this year?
Hearn: Jamie McDonnell will probably fight in November and I'll probably put him in the States to be honest with you. We're just trying to finalise our November 17 show in America and I think Ricky Burns will fight on that. I've reached out to Top Rank. I'd like to do the Burns-Beltran rematch. They talked about that at 138-139 in weight but we'll see, but I'm looking for a big fight for Ricky Burns on November 17.