By: Nick Skok of NoSparring.com
Yesterday Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions shared that British promoter Eddie Hearn, who has recently taken to the American market, had turned down an offer made for his fighter, WBA super flyweight champion Khalid “Kal” Yafai, to unify against WBO boss, Naoya “the Monster” Inoue on the next installment of “Super Fly”. Inoue is considered by some to be the division’s best.
Eddie went on to confirm the report through his Twitter account, first shared by journalist Cameron Gillon, that an offer had indeed been made but that “it wasn’t a difficult decision [to turn it down] bearing in mind the offer.” Reports later surfaced suggesting the monetary number was similar to what Yafai made in his previous defense against Ishida.
Tom Loeffler promoted the original Super Fly fight card last September and worked with 5 other promoters to bring a triple header to fruition that was lauded as the best card of the year by almost every boxing pundit. What was equally impressive was that Loeffler did so on a budget that was deemed fair by all parties, knowing that the Super Fly ranks are not traditionally main event events nor big money cards.
After Yafai’s defense in May against Muranaka, Hearn told reporters that “one more fight and he’ll chase the unification fights.” That fight came and went against Ishida on October 28th.
When pressed by Gillon if he (Hearn) would indeed chase a unification with Inoue, who’s been chasing for one of his own for the better part of two years, by making his camp an offer, Hearn replied “no”.
At 28 years of age, the backside of most flyweight sized fighters, one has to wonder what better options there are for a boxer like Yafai other than Super Fly 2? Yafai’s division peers, most of whom outrank him or have been in considerably bigger or more recognizable fights than he has, will again be featured on prime-time HBO from Los Angeles- this time at the historic Forum.
As a newcomer to the States who has just begun a more robust working relationship with HBO, it’s really a shame for the fans that Hearn couldn’t work with Loeffler and the other promoters, as well as HBO, to bring his champion to Super Fly 2 without pricing himself out.
Hearn was quoted four days earlier about another unification possibility concerning one of his other fighter’s that rings true to this occasion as well:
“I would not forgive myself if I put a fighter in a fight that difficult, for poor money, and we lose it all, by just trying to do the right thing for a couple of blokes on the internet. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth of it.”
It should be noted that all fighter’s who participated in the original Super Fly, gained more in exposure by participating in those exciting fights, some even in loss, than they otherwise would’ve on other undercards- and all of them with the exception of Antonio Nieves, had been invited back for seconds on Super Fly 2. Just today Loeffler announced that Inoue and Carlos Cuadras will most likely round out the planned card.
Unfortunately it seems Hearn’s confidence in his [champion] fighter(s) is shaky at best without sizable financial guarantees and such a card is too risky. Here’s hoping more than just a few blokes on the Internet tune in for this one.
Super Fly 2 will be Saturday, February 24th in Los Angeles at The Forum, live on HBO. The card will be headlined by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai defending his WBC super flyweight championship against Juan Francisco Estrada.