British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is looking to shake-up the American boxing scene with his newly announced eight-year, $1 billion deal with sports streaming platform DAZN (Da-Zone), which will launch in the United States in June. With sixteen US-based fight cards to fill, Hearn is eying world champions, former champions, Olympians, rising prospects, and anyone else he can get to build up his American stable.
Among his initial list of fighters targeted, Hearn included Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence, Jermell and Jermall Charlo, and Adrien Broner, all of whom are a part of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions but aren’t contractually tied to any promoter.
The ever-controversial Broner (33-3-1-1 NC, 24 KOs) apparently received an initial offer from Hearn, and decided to put Hearn on blast in a short Instagram post, going as far as to call a three-fight, $6.75 million contract a “slave deal.”
I’m sorry @eddiehearn you a good guy and all but you tried to give me a worst deal than @rocnation offered me #TheShitIsOVA#SlaveDeal
Broner once turned down Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, who offered him a 5-year, $40 million contract in 2015, although in hindsight maybe it wasn’t that bad a move considering Roc Nation cratered quickly.
If the “slave” comment sounds familiar to longtime boxing fans, that’s because Floyd Mayweather, a mentor of Broner’s for years, used just about the exact same phrasing when he rejected a seven-fight, $12.5 million contract from HBO way back in 1999.
“The Problem” later wrote that his “loyalty was with Showtime Boxing, Stephen Espinoza, and Al Haymon.” Espinoza essentially let it slip that Broner is earning more than what’s on the official salaries.
It was silly of him to think that AB isn’t already making more than $2.5M a fight.
— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) May 24, 2018
In both boxing and in MMA, it’s common knowledge that not necessarily every official payout reported by the commission is the final total. Broner has had recorded fight purses ranging from $1 million to $1.75 million in his last eleven bouts, with only one of those fights broadcast on PPV, when he was on the Mayweather vs. Maidana II undercard in May 2014 against Carlos Molina.
The 28-year-old is coming off an entertaining draw with Jessie Vargas, which is on the heels of his wide decision loss to Mikey Garcia, whom Hearn is also looking to sign. The former world champion in four weight divisions may not have an actual quality win in recent years, but he’s one of Showtime’s biggest attractions, and it looks as if he wants to stay put with PBC.