Eddie Hearn, who promotes heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, gives his take on Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor.
Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn has rose to considerable prominence on the world boxing stage. The highest-profile fighter the Englishman currently promotes is heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, but he also has the likes of Kell Brook, Tony Bellew, and Irish Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor in his stable. Joshua’s win over Wladimir Klitschko in April is believed to have broken the UK PPV record, which previously stood at 1.5 million buys.
Hearn recently fielded questions from Twitter in a piece for GQ Magazine, and inevitably the August 26th mega-showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was brought up. He had plenty of praise for McGregor as a fighter and as a personality, but he doesn’t see how the UFC lightweight champion beats Mayweather in his own sport.
Well, with my promoter’s hat on it I can tell you it is a huge event, it will create a huge revenue and it is going to break box office records. I am a huge Conor McGregor fan, I think he is a legend of MMA and I think he is one of the world’s greatest self-promoters. His story is inspirational, he has come from absolutely nothing and worked his way to the top, and talked his way into this position. And Floyd Mayweather is the boxing equivalent. So it will make them both an awful lot of money. But does McGregor have a chance? Absolutely not. You have to remember, he is fighting a man so good, in his last fight against Manny Pacquiao he hardly took a punch. If Mayweather wants, he could evade McGregor all night long. So what’s Conor going to do if he can’t hit him? He can’t hold him and put him in a choke hold.
Perhaps the more eyebrow-raising quote from Hearn had to do with addressing the “boxing is dead” crowd, and the fact that McGregor’s career payday is coming through taking a boxing fight outside of the UFC.
The thing I do find interesting about this whole event, though, is that recently a lot of people have said boxing is dead and MMA is the future. But here you have the biggest name in MMA resorting to boxing, for not just his biggest payday, but a payday that he could never achieve through his own sport. I think that is good for boxing.
Exact financial details will contractually not be disclosed by either party, but UFC president Dana White believes that McGregor could earn in the neighborhood of $100 million, which would easily outpace any UFC fight he’s had. McGregor vs. Mayweather is expected to challenge all financial and PPV buyrate records set by Mayweather’s win over Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
For the record, the subject of UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic fighting Anthony Joshua was not brought up in the Q&A.