Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has been vocal about his admiration for UFC President Dana White in the past, but he can’t get behind White’s determination to promote the UFC 249 card amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s unbelievable, I’d like to think that in boxing, there’s no-one more roll your sleeves up and get on with it than me,” Hearn told Express Sport. “But even I wouldn’t consider staging an event right now. I’m not even thinking about options, not even on the radar.
“This is stubbornness,” Hearn added. These are many of the things that make him successful but at some point you have to sit back and say ‘white flag’. I’m quite surprised ESPN are going ahead with this, obviously they want ratings and money. But with Sky Sports and DAZN, I would not be allowed to stage events right now. It’s bad taste to be quite honest.”
Hearn continued, admitting that part of him admires White’s doggedness. Yet he also feels the UFC boss is acting “mad.”
“He wants to be a trailblazer, people have told him he can’t do it,” Hearn said. “But I know the feeling of being told something and you do it anyway. Half of me admires him for cracking on but the other half says ‘come on don’t be mad’.
“I was on the phone with Bob Arum yesterday with [Kubrat] Pulev’s team too and Arum’s like ‘I like you guys but why are we wasting our time on this call? Let’s speak at the end of the month and we’ll know more’,” Hearn added. “It hasn’t really affected our business too much. Financially we’re okay, other than some initial costs which we couldn’t get back.
“We’ve built up a decent business over the last eight years, we’re in a strong position with good liquidity.”
What do you think of these comments from Eddie Hearn?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/7/2020.