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Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn ‘jealous’ of the UFC because ‘they control the sport and fighters’

Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn admits being envious of the UFC’s level of authority.

UFC 232 Jones v Gustafsson 2: Press Conference Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Most comparisons between boxing and MMA are about matchmaking. Many are inclined to favor the latter because they usually get to see the fights they want, and it is something UFC president Dana White has been long proud about.

Apparently, it is something Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn is envious about. In a recent interview with BeIN Sports, the 40-year-old promoter expressed his “jealousy” towards how the UFC is able to conduct its business.

“I love what [the UFC has] done as a brand, I love their expansion into territories,” he said (via Boxing Junkie). “I’m jealous because they control the sport and fighters in a way where the fighters are basically told who they’re going to fight.

“In boxing, it’s exactly the opposite. [Fighters] tell us [who they are going to fight]. From that perspective, Dana White has always talked about going into boxing but it’s going to be really frustrating because you don’t just phone up Canelo [Alvarez] and say, ‘Right, you’re fighting [Gennadiy Golovkin] in September. I’ll see you there.’

“[In boxing] you have to negotiate with managers, advisors, networks. It’s frustrating,” he continued. “So, I’m an MMA fan – the sport and also the business.”

Hearn says he also sees himself getting into MMA promotion. Should the opportunity arise, he intends to go all in.

“It’s very difficult to rival the UFC, and if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it with all guns blazing,” Hearn said. “I don’t want to go in and be No. 2. Being No. 1 in that space is very, very difficult, you know.

“Let me crack boxing first, and then we’ll see abut MMA.”

The UFC tried to be the only MMA promotion to carry on with their scheduled events amid cancellations due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. But they, too, weren’t spared by the US government’s rulings, forcing the postponement of the next three fight cards.

White, however, promised that UFC 249 will go on as planned, even if it means holding it outside the United States.

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