Eddie Hearn has given talkSPORT.com a mass update on his entire stable of Matchroom fighters.
The promoter is currently working to finalise Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev, as well as big fights for Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora, plus a potential Canelo shot for one of his super-middleweights.
Scroll down to read it all below.
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev date/venue
Context: This mandatory defence is a done deal, but a date and stadium is still not yet confirmed.
Hearn said: “It’s pretty much Spurs or Arsenal. We were at Spurs on Monday, it’s unbelievable, sensational. I’ve been in talks with Arsenal for a long time, they were in the running to hold Froch vs Groves II. Obviously their north London neighbours have developed this incredible stadium, but the Emirates is also an incredible stadium. Last night we spoke to the IBF and we just said we have a deal in principle, we’ll finalise contracts over the next week and we’ll confirm the date. End of next week.”
Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders/Callum Smith
Context: It’s been reported that both Brits have turned down initial offers for the mega fight on May 2 in Las Vegas.
Hearn said: “There’s been an offer to each of the guys. We’re not looking to be disrespectful, they didn’t feel and I didn’t feel that it was the right kind of offer to represent a world champion in a fight against Canelo Alvarez. It’s not a case of being greedy, but obviously there’s been a market price established. We’re not even asking for that, actually we’re asking for quite a bit lower. But they’re not interested in the slightest in pricing themselves out. We just went back and said, ‘Both of these guys love the fight, want the fight, but not for that kind of money. Make us another offer.’ And then we told them the number we would be willing to accept and negotiations continue. I think they say there’s someone else they’re looking at as well, probably Caleb Plant, he boxes on Saturday, he’s gonna want more than Callum and Billy. I spoke to some of the PBC guys last night. I think there’s been a couple of approaches there [for Plant].
Gennady Golovkin vs Kamil Szeremeta
Context: A deal is done for GGG to defend against his mandatory challenger, but it’s not known when or where the fight will happen yet.
Hearn said: “He is looking to fight in Kazakhstan, that was originally gonna be April, it’ll be pushed back a little bit now. Still has the option to fight in the US as well. Nothing should surprise you in boxing. If they [Canelo’s team] come out and say and all of a sudden said, ‘Actually we’ll fight Gennady Golovkin in May,’ it could happen, but talks are not happening. I think the plan for that fight is September. I think Gennady would box in Kazakhstan preferably for this mandatory defence and then we’d go and fight Canelo Alvarez in September.”
Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora date
Context: This fight is also a done deal, but has been pushed back from its planned March date as Usyk is getting additional rehab on a pre-existing elbow issue.
Hearn said: “May 23 at the O2 is a date that’s a working date at the moment. Again, that fight’s agreed and we’re just finalising the venue.”
Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin
Context: This fight is a done deal, but specifics are yet to be confirmed.
Hearn said: “That fight is agreed, just finalising the venue and date. It’ll either be April 25 or May 2 for Dillian Whyte… Filip Hrgovic vs Martin Bakole is the fight I want [for the undercard]. I really like the Martin Bakole fight, that will probably land on the Whyte vs Povetkin card when that is announced… Callum Johnson has also got the [European title] fight which will land on the Whyte card. We want to look to make Callum Johnson against Joshua Buatsi at the end of this year as well.”
Josh Warrington’s mandatory situation
Context: Eddie Hearn has just re-signed IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington and is intending to make a unification bout for him next. However his other charge Kid Galahad won a final eliminator on Saturday to become mandatory challenger once again – this fight has now been ordered.
Hearn said: “Yes, they’ve done that and basically you have 30 days to negotiate and discuss. We’ve already made it quite clear to Kid Galahad, and he knows the plan, that Josh is looking to unify. So that’s what we wanna do. If he does do that and he doesn’t face Kid Galahad, then he will apply for an exception and Kid Galahad will probably fight on the same card. He’s in the position now.”
Artur Beterbiev vs Dmitry Bivol in Russia
Context: There have been Russian reports suggesting this unification could be possible for August in St Petersburg.
Hearn said: “Just a couple of sort of signs of interest in that fight. No negotiations or anything like that. I think Bivol’s biggest issue is trying to get the marquee fight. No-one really wants to fight Beterbiev and no-one really wants to fight Bivol. For different reasons. Bivol’s very, very difficult to beat and Beterbiev’s very dangerous. So those two, for me, have to fight each other and to do it in Russia would make sense. I’ve made it clear, I’ve no problem with that fight landing on ESPN. I just want Bivol to get his opportunity. It’s frustrating because he really needs to fight in April/May, but what kind of fight is it? We don’t want another Isaac Chilemba or Lenin Castillo, he needs that test now. It could be Callum Johnson. If Bivol’s gonna have a voluntary defence I would like it to be Callum Johnson.”
Lawrence Okolie vs Krzysztof Glowacki
Context: This fight for the vacant WBO cruiserweight world title is agreed, but the proposed date keeps changing.
Hearn said: “It’s frustrating. Lawrence is a bit frustrated and it’s just a case of where that lands. You’ve got a world championship fight there, both fighters want a lot of money to fight for the world title. I’d like to do it in the UK, Glowacki is okay with that. We could place it in America. We’re looking now at the end of April. Also Luke Campbell vs Javier Fortuna, that’ll happen probably in New York on that April card.”
Context: Following the success of Andy Ruiz Jr vs Anthony Joshua II in Saudi Arabia, Eddie Hearn promised to return there this year.
Hearn said: “We’re gonna be doing a show there end of June/early July. Which we’re looking into at the moment. We have a partnership in place with Skills Challenge for shows in Saudi and that also involved some exciting stuff about academies and performance centres to try and bring amateurs through in Saudi Arabia as well. They want us to deliver a huge show at the end of June/early July. I think Manny Pacquiao is a guy they would probably love to bring to the Kingdom. Anything’s possible, we’ve got this budget and we’ll put a card together that’ll be sensational.”
Conor Benn and Joshua Buatsi returns
Context: The pair have just been announced, without opponents, for the David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly undercard, March 28 at the O2 Arena, London.
Hearn said: “The names that we’re looking at, which we’re very close to finalising, are significant steps up for Conor Benn. Tony Sims is starting to really see improvements from him. Buatsi was literally added a day ago. We’ve just agreed an extension to his deal with us and he’s been out for six months. He was supposed to fight Blake Caparello in November, but he had a virus and it really knocked him back. This won’t be a Caparello-style fight, but it’ll be a fight to get him back into the mix and then we’re looking to move him real quick. Basically we’ve got a three/four-fight plan to get him to the world championship.”
Daniel Jacobs’ next fight
Context: Jacobs was dethroned by Canelo last May, but defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in December.
Hearn said: “He’ll return at the end of May and really with him it’s a case of waiting to see who doesn’t get Canelo out of Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders, because he’ll probably face the one who doesn’t face him… John Ryder could fight Danny Jacobs actually. We’ve had a couple of talks with DAZN about him fighting Danny Jacobs. He needs a big fight after the next one.”
Murodjon Akhmadaliev’s first defence
Context: Akhmadaliev recently became Uzbekistan’s first unified world champion by outpointing Danny Roman and returned to an incredible homecoming at the airport.
Hearn said: “I’d like him to fight in Uzbekistan. Now we can do a card in Uzbekistan with Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Shakhram Giyasov and Israil Madrimov. You would sell 60,000 tickets in Uzbekistan. Unbelievable, so that’s what I’d like to try and do.”
Michael Hunter opponent search
Context: Many felt heavyweight Hunter should have got the nod in his December draw with Alexander Povetkin. Povetkin is now fighting Dillian Whyte and so there will be no rematch.
Hearn said: “He is the boogeyman really, no-one wants to fight Michael Hunter. I need to find him a fight, it’s not easy to do. I quite the Gassiev fight. Gassiev fights in two weeks and we’ll see how he looks.”
Joseph Diaz vs Tevin Farmer rematch
Context: Hearn’s man Farmer was dethroned of his IBF super-featherweight title by Diaz in January and wants a rematch. But Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov is the IBF mandatory challenger.
Hearn said: “We’ll apply for an exception for that fight, for the rematch, which will probably take place in May/June. That fight hasn’t been ordered yet.”
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Juan Estrada’s injury
Context: Estrada was supposed to unify super-flyweight titles with Kal Yafai in December, but could not do so.
Hearn said: “Estrada’s got a hand injury, he’s coming back in May/June. He’s gonna fight Carlos Cuadras in a rematch. A Mexico fight.”
Charlie Edwards’ move up in weight
Context: Edwards vacated his WBC flyweight title and recently revealed he is out of contract with Eddie Hearn, so his next fight will be on an MTK Global show.
Hearn said: “I’ve not had a chat with Charlie. His contact expired with us and we haven’t had a discussion yet about renewing. If that happens, we’ll see. I think he’s moving up to bantamweight, he’s done very well, won a world title with us.”