Young Eddie Hearn has to have the inside track on being the top promoter in the UK in the coming decades. I chatted with him at BB King’s in NYC on Tuesday, before he talked up the chances of his fighter Gavin Rees, who meets Adrien Broner Saturday night in Atlantic City, and once again him, found him to be a solid emissary for the fight game. He’s enthusiastic, polite, even-tempered, and cuts a respectable figure which can and has attracted mainstream attention.
Hearn told me he still isn’t sure what is going on with the Kell Brook-Devon Alexander fight. Devon was injured, and their faceoff in Detroit set for Feb. 23 was put off. Then, word got out that Devon is in the mix to fight Floyd Mayweather May 4. Hearn, Brook’s promoter, said the IBF told him that Devon can’t keep the IBF welter belt if he blows off the Brook fight, so the promoter thinks maybe Brook could fight for the vacated IBF strap if indeed Devon does get the Floyd payday. Jan Zaveck is No. 3 and Rafal Jackiewicz is No. 4 in the IBF, and Zaveck will fight Keith Thurman on March 9, so perhaps Brook might meet one of those folks for the (perhaps) vacated strap. Hearn, like us, waits, because Mayweather’s decisions take precendence over most all others in the game.
Hearn loved the work his guy, the junior feather Carl Frampton did in stopping Kiko Martinez Saturday; I wondered if we’ll see Frampton take on WBA No. 1 Scott Quigg next. Hearn said he’s made three offers to match Frampton with Quigg before, and Team Quigg turned them down, so he’s not sure if that mindset will change. Quigg is with Ricky Hatton, who doesn’t have the massive TV deal (with Sky) Hearn does, so Eddie might have more leverage than Ricky here. IBF No. 1 and 2, Alejandro Lopez and Jhonatan Romero, meet Saturday, for the vacant crown, FYI. “We’d like the winner,” Hearn said. Frampton is No. 9 in the IBF.
His guy Carl Froch meets Mikkel Kessler on May 25, and Hearn is liking Froch by stoppage, around rounds 8-10.
Another Hearn fighter is middleweight Darren Barker. He has a date, March 9, against TBA, at Wembley. Hearn wanted ultra-mega-spoiler Brian Vera, but that deal couldn’t be made, as Vera could get a crack at Gennady Golovkin. Osumanu Adama, or Gio Lorenzo, or Jose Miguel Torres could get the Barker fight. Barker has been off 16 months, so Hearn isn’t inclined to match him too aggressively. A fight with Mattthew Macklin or Martin Murray in the near-ish future would make sense for Barker.
Tony Bellew will show off his stuff against Issac Chilemba on March 30 in Liverpool, for a WBC light heavyweight silver belt. Hearn is keen on seeing Bellew win that, and get the Chad Dawson-Jean Pascal winner. “I have a funny feeling for Pascal in that one,” the son of vet promoter Barry Hearn said.
Lastly, he talked up a new signing, junior middle Brian Rose; Hearn said he asked Sergei Dzinziruk and Alfonso Gomez to test Rose, but was turned down.