“Eddie Hearn gets a lot of shit” – Dave Coldwell, 29th May 2016.
Most boxing people will acknowledge the truth in that statement. A large proportion of boxing folk would argue that he deserves it. However, what cannot be denied is the role that he has played in bringing some of the biggest nights of British boxing to the masses.
Even his biggest detractors must admit that he does a lot of good for the sport. He, like every other promoter out there, never shies away from hyperbole but in this instance it is entirely justified. We caught up with him to discuss just how Tony Bellew’s WBC Cruiserweight title win ranks among his experiences in the sport.
“I think it was the best. Obviously I am very close to Tony so I had a lot invested emotionally. I think, in terms of dramatic finishes… I was really pleased with how the first round went. He wasn’t hurt, obviously he bust his nose but then it sort of switched him on even more. The second round was really good, he just took a step back and won the round off his jab. And then obviously he hurt him.
But even when he was loading up at the end he copped three or four and he could’ve been knocked out cold, Bellew. Sometimes you get in a situation, like Froch-Bute, where you have to stand in front of them and fight that kind of fight and you are going to get hit on the way back. It was just one of the great, great nights of not just British boxing but British sport.
I think because of how good Makabu was, and how feared he was, and the fact that Tony was a big underdog made the victory even more sweet. Especially with the knockdown. Even without it it would’ve been sensational.
That was the big pressure. Tony Bellew sells a fight, he’s always been brilliant at that. But, in the past, he hasn’t always delivered. When he delivers and he becomes world champion, and he has that personality, it makes him a big name and a big star. And he’s been in a Rocky movie! He’s recreated the final scene of that Rocky movie, at his football club, he’s won a world title. He’s one of the biggest stars in boxing now. Not just British sport but boxing.
If you saw it you’ll never forget it. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Everton fan, a Liverpool fan, or whether you’re from Cornwall (I added Newcastle at that point), wherever you will never forget that night.”
Massive thanks to Eddie for speaking to us in what is hopefully the first of many interviews.