Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport was shocked with what he felt was a lack of proper promotion for last Saturday's rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev.
Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) stopped Kovalev (30-2, 26 KOs) in the eight round to retain his WBA, WBO, IBF light heavyweight titles at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.
But the HBO Pay-Per-View fight was surprisingly missing certain level of hype that even the first encounter generated last November.
The fight was broadcast in the UK by Sky Sports, who have an exclusive agreement with Hearn's company on the domestic end.
Hearn, who considers Ward to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, believes the promoters involved missed the boat with generating the proper pre-fight buzz for the event.
If his company was handling the event, Hearn feels confident that Ward-Kovalev II would do no less than 300,000 pay-per-view buys.
One of the biggest issues with the event, is the promotional rivalry between Roc Nation Sports (for Ward) and Main Events (for Kovalev). The two entities could barely stand sitting together at the same press events.
“I spoke to the guys at Sky..... the press conferences and everything. All it is is standing up for an hour and a half and thanking everyone, chewing them off. Thank you to Richard Sturm of the MGM, thank you to HBO, thank you to this, thank you to that. People don’t want to see that," Hearn told IFL TV.
"There are so many different dynamics in that fight that you could have exploited. [Ward's trainer] Virgil Hunter, what a great controversial character with so many opinions [and] not afraid to speak his mind. The Kovalev trainer, John David Jackson - again, the same. Kathy Duva - she’s gold. James Prince, he’s a top boy. That’s so frustrating watching that with dare I say it, with what I could have done with those camps and teams."
" If I was promoting that show I would have guaranteed no less than 300,000 buys. That might sound arrogant but deep down you know it that I could have smashed that pay-per-view. Pound-for-pound one of the best fights in world boxing with two guys that hate each other and you can’t do 170,000 pay-per-view buys? [Golden Boy Promotions] just did Canelo vs Chavez Jr. for over 1 million buys and it was a complete mismatch. Frustrating.”