Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Hearn: No One Said Anything About Smith-Groves In Saudi Arabia

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Eddie Hearn understands some of the criticism he has taken for bringing the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua rematch to Saudi Arabia.

What Joshua’s promoter doesn’t respect is that there wasn’t any anger expressed publicly when two other British boxers, Callum Smith and George Groves, fought in Saudi Arabia last September. Smith knocked out Groves in the seventh round of their WBA super middleweight championship match September 28 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Like the Ruiz-Joshua rematch, organizers of the World Boxing Super Series brought the final of its 168-pound tournament to Saudi Arabia because they were offered more money to hold it there than anywhere else. Smith-Groves obviously would’ve been a bigger event in England, as would Ruiz-Joshua II.

eddie-hearn (2)_16

Hearn doesn’t deny that money, reportedly more than $40 million for a site fee, was the primary motivation for bringing the Ruiz-Joshua rematch to Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, on December 7. He still questions why those that have very vocally opposed holding the fight there, largely due to Saudi Arabia’s heinous history of human rights violations, weren’t outraged when the Smith-Groves card was brought there.

“We understand it,” Hearn said following the Gennadiy Golovkin-Sergiy Derevyanchenko press conference at Madison Square Garden. “I understand not everyone’s gonna be happy. And people say, ‘Oh, you’re hiding behind the WWE, the World Boxing Super Series, Formula One, the European Tour [golf], the tennis Super Cup.’ These are all major events, by organizations that are much, much bigger than Matchroom and much, much bigger than this fight. When George Groves boxed Callum Smith in the final of the World Boxing Super Series in Saudi Arabia, no one said one thing – not one thing.”

Hearn, Smith’s promoter, wasn’t involved in the Smith-Groves promotion. He feels that difference has something to do with why there has been such strong opposition to the Ruiz-Joshua rematch taking place in Saudi Arabia.

“It’s me, but it’s more the profile of the fight, the size of the fight,” Hearn said. “And people wanna criticize. There was no one really pushing that [Smith-Groves] fight. So, if I did that fight, I would’ve got a load of stick. But not as much stick as [now].”

Amir Khan, another British boxer Hearn promotes, also fought in Saudi Arabia recently. Hearn was not involved, however, in the promotion of Khan’s fourth-round stoppage of Billy Dib on July 12 in Jeddah.

Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), of Imperial, California, and Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs), of Watford, England, will participate in a three-country press tour early in September to promote their immediate rematch. They’ll make stops in Saudi Arabia, London and New York.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by doom_specialist on 08-26-2019

I think it's weird that Hearn isn't doing everything in his power to stall this fight until Ruiz agrees to fight in the UK, like he did another PBC heavyweight.

Comment by PBR Streetgang on 08-26-2019

I didn't put much stock into the Smith/Groves card beforehand but when I watched I did notice the awkwardness of the disinterested all male crowd in attendance. Politics of it aside, even when watching on television, I enjoy a passionate…

Comment by texasboi15 on 08-26-2019

[QUOTE=VislorTurlough;20012749][B][SIZE="3"]Maybe the Saudi Prince has Whyte’s b sample[/SIZE][/B][/QUOTE] [B][SIZE="3"]Stay on his ass VT[/SIZE][/B]

Comment by Inspired on 08-26-2019

It's not JUST a cash grab. The Saudis could be offering annual $100-200m fights and will develop relationships with top promoters. To refuse them today would mean they're less likely to deal with you later. From Eddie's perspective, had he…

Comment by YoungManRumble on 08-26-2019

[QUOTE=Eff Pandas;20012819]Groves vs Callum coulda happened on the sun. Fans are more into HW fights like this one & Joshua is 100x more popular than those two combined & they have actual interest in Joshua fights.[/QUOTE] I think this is…

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (21)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
Michael Conlan Has No Issue Facing Isaac Dogboe on December 5 Teofimo Lopez Sr: Judge Who Had It 119-109 For My Son Had The Best Score Belmar Preciado vs. Rodolfo Hernandez Tops Telemundo Season Finale In Kissimmee Trainer: I Knew Lopez's Talent After Watching Him Spar Rigondeaux Danny Roman Wants Luis Nery as Next Opponent Cuadras Produces Follow-Up Negative COVID-Test; Rematch With Estrada Remains Intact Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Moises Calleros Now Set For Mexico City Card Murat Gassiev Gets New Opponent, Sefer Seferi Out With COVID-19 Edgar Berlanga's KO Streak Has Caught Attention of Mike Tyson Pedraza Shakes Head at Scores, Felt Lomachenko Beat Lopez Kambosos vs. Selby: Both Eager To Secure Lopez Mandatory Shot Ritson-Vazquez: Judge O'Connor To Appear Before British Boxing Board Sor Rungvisai: Whoever Wins Between Estrada And Cuadras, I WIsh To Meet In My Next Fight Bob Arum: Lopez Won The Fight - But Those Scores Were Ridiculous! Lopez: I Can Make 135 Again; I'll Be Fully Hydrated, Better, Faster, Stronger At 140 Moruti Mthalane Faces Jayson Mama on Dec. 20, First Hometown Fight BoxingScene.com's Championship Stats, Records Update: October 2020 Demsey McKean Wants Consideration To Face Tyson Fury in December Teofimo Lopez Shocked The World, But Not Himself or His Team Spence: I Want Pacquiao Next, But He's Earned Right To Pick McGregor Euro News & Results: Tony Yoka, Lerena-Merhy, Faust, More Two Years Of Magical Thinking: Lopez's Vision Comes True Against Lomachenko Anthony Joshua: I Want To Steamroll Through Pulev, Fight Fury! Lewis Ritson-Miguel Vazquez: CompuBox Punch Stats & Analysis Lopez: I Expected More From Lomachenko; He Was Pretty Basic, Honestly Michael McKinson Extends Streak, Jay Harris Beats Braithwaite, Paul Butler Wins RBF's Kremlev Felt Lomachenko Won, Drozd Was Shocked With Loma Strategy Lopez On Lomachenko Rematch: For What? Same Thing Will Happen Again Kell Brook: Critics Writing Me Off, I'll Make People Richer During Difficult Time Barboza Fights His Way To Decision Win Over Saucedo Ritson Admits: We've Mentioned Prograis - We're a Million Miles From That Hearn: 117-111 To Ritson Was A Disgrace Of A Card And Terrible For The Sport Lomachenko: I Took Over in The Second Half - I Won The Fight! Teofimo Lopez: Every Time Loma Wanted To Throw - I Had Something Ready Teofimo Lopez Completes Takeover, Beats Lomachenko - HUGE Gallery Lewis Ritson Gets Controversial Win Over Miguel Vazquez Arnold Barboza: I Want a Championship Fight - No More Tuneups! Edgar Berlanga: Ref Made Good Call, I Would've Sent Bellows To Hospital Lopez-Lomachenko: Tyson, Atlas, Crawford, Pacquiao, Spence React Arum: Brook One of The Elite Fighters in The World, A Real Test For Crawford
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement