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 08-25-2019

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 08-25-2019

[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 08-25-2019

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 08-25-2019

[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
Tyson Fury: No Problems With What Bayless Did; He Did A Fair Job Frank Warren: Joshua Should Vacate Belts, Get It On With Fury Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder II: Afterthoughts Breidis Says Tickets Going Through The Roof For Dorticos Bout Chris Jenkins vs. Johnny Garton II To Feature On Dubois vs. Joyce Warren on Fury: That Was Best Performance By British Boxer Whyte: Tyson Fury Knows I Got What it Takes To Beat Him! Davison: Fury Stopping Wilder Shocked Me, I Was Surprised Chocolatito on Kal Yafai: It's Going To Be One Hell of a Fight Davison: Wilder Did Not Look Confident, It Was Round 13 For Fury Fury Fulfilled Pledge He Made 7 Years Ago - To Knock Wilder Out Warren: Wilder's Manager Called, Says Fury Trilogy is Likely Kenny Porter Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Wilder Jose Ramirez Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Wilder Caleb Plant Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Wilder Whyte To Hearn: How About Doing What's Right, Getting My Shot Wilder's Managers Expect Third Fight With Fury To Happen Next Michael Hunter Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Wilder Claressa Shields Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Wilder Devin Haney Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Wilder Thomas Hearns Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Wilder Hearn: I Expect Wilder To Request Rematch - Where Else Can He Go? Wilder's Head Trainer: I Don't Think Breland Should’ve Thrown Towel Laila Ali Teases Ring Return For Superfight With Claressa Shields Navarrete: If No Unification Bout Soon - I'll Move Up To 126 Charles Martin: This Has Just Given Me More Confidence Wilder-Fury Rematch Broke Heavyweight Gate Record In Vegas Tyson Fury Smiles: Not Bad For Someone With Pillow Fists! Tyson Fury Beats Down, Drops, Stops Deontay Wilder Charles Martin Takes Down Gerald Washington in Six Emanuel Navarrete Batters, Stops Santisima To Retain Haye: Deontay Wilder's Biggest Downfall is His Biggest Weapon Teofimo Lopez Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Wilder SugarHill Steward Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Wilder Frank Warren Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Wilder Bob Arum Reacts To Tyson Fury Stopping Deontay Wilder Wilder's Trainer Explains Towel Coming in To Stop Fight Tyson Fury Reacts To Stopping Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder Rematch - Official Scorecards Deontay Wilder Has 30 Days To Exercise Clause For Fury Trilogy
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement