Eddie Hearn has little doubt about the merits of Devin Haney’s ability inside the ring, but he is perhaps a bit apprehensive about some of the circumstances surrounding his former charge.

Hearn, the former longtime promoter of the WBC lightweight titlist from Oakland, feels that Haney’s needs will not be looked after all that stringently ahead of his upcoming undisputed lightweight showdown against George Kambosos June 4 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.  

In order to land the fight, Haney needed to sign a multi-bout deal with Top Rank Inc., the promotional company headed by Hearn’s rival Bob Arum, who has an exclusive content deal with sports broadcasting powerhouse ESPN. That meant Hearn, the head of Matchroom, could not come on board as Haney’s promoter; Hearn, moreover, has a content deal of his own with DAZN. Haney has been a free agent for the past year.

Hearn apparently does not think Top Rank, an established promotional company in its own right, will cater to Haney in the way that Hearn would have had he been involved, saying that Haney will not have “representation.” Hearn believes Haney needs a “powerful promoter” who can constantly scrutinize matters in the buildup to the fight. Kambosos, it should be noted, is promoted by Lou DiBella.

“The disadvantage for Devin – obviously this was part of having to take that ESPN deal – [is that] he doesn’t really have representation,” Hearn said on The DAZN Boxing Show. “We’re not working together on the fight because obviously he had to do this ESPN deal. But he’s the big B-side in this fight. So, he doesn’t have a powerful promoter backing him, in his corner.

“When they get to the ground, when they get to the venue, [the promoter is] making sure that everyone is comfortable with the officials, making sure that the ring’s ok.”

Hearn brought up the case of Dillian Whyte, another longtime client, as a recent example of what might happen if proper representation is not in my place. Whyte was the B-side to Tyson Fury in their heavyweight title tilt last month on a card that was promoted by Top Rank and Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotion; Hearn had lost out on the rights to promote the bout and does not have a long-term deal with Whyte. Whyte was dissatisfied with many of the aspects of his contract, leading him to refrain from speaking with the media or publicizing the fight until fight week.

“You know the game,” Hearn said. “I’ve seen it before, the same with Dillian Whyte really. I felt like it really affected him. You turn up and you feel like you’re the opponent.”

Compounding Haney’s situation is the fact that his father and manager, Bill Haney, is unlikely to be with him on fight night.

“Devin’s very strong mentally,” Hearn said. “I think that would really affect some people in the preparation for this fight. Of course, Devin would prefer Bill to be there.”

Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) is also obligated to give Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) a rematch, in Australia, no less, should Haney come out as the victor on June 4. Given such seemingly onerous terms, Hearn believes Haney is a bit behind the eight ball. Nonetheless, the veteran promoter believes his former client can pull off the win.

“As I said, Devin is very strong mentally,” Hearn said. “He knows what he needs to do in this fight. He’s going to be up against, what, 30,000 fans and they’ll be cheering for George Kambosos. He’s in their backyard. Even if he wins, he has to go back and do the rematch in Australia. You couldn’t have more against you. But respect to him. He’s going there to make it happen and we’re fully behind him.”