Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom has responded to some of the recent statements from Top Rank’s CEO, Bob Arum.
In a recent interview, Arum explained why he believed IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was not receiving the proper exposure in the United States by having his fights carried by streaming service DAZN.
Joshua makes his United States debut on June 1, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In the other corner will be undefeated challenger Jarrell Miller.
Arum recently signed lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to a multi-fight co-promotional deal. Fury is Joshua’s main rival in the UK.
Arum’s company has an exclusive content deal with ESPN – and the network has a rival streaming service, ESPN+.
Top Rank’s events are carried on ESPN or ESPN+ – but the more high profile fights are going to be showcased on ESPN Pay-Per-View.
Arum advised Joshua to finish up his contract with Hearn and then come on board with Top Rank to get proper exposure.
“Joshua is completely isolated because he has in effect, been captured and rolled into this DAZN arrangement. This frankly inhibits his ability to make major fights and his ability to really become a factor.
“He’s fighting in the US against Miller but it’s on DAZN. Nobody has DAZN,” Arum told World Boxing News.
“I think Joshua has been used. Joshua and his people should wake up and really join the world. He should finish up his contract with Hearn and join us. It makes no sense [to continue placing his fights on DAZN].
“It makes no sense to deprive him of PPV. If he fights in the UK, he can’t turn that into PPV dollars in the United States. That’s because of the difference in time.”
Hearn shot back, stating to Sporting News that Arum was now feeling the heat of the impact Matchroom USA was making on DAZN.
“I think Bob’s under a lot of pressure at ESPN. You know, I think his last show, [Kubrat] Pulev vs. [Bogdan] Dinu, the ratings were extremely poor, but I’m flattered that Bob’s on the offensive and attacking us in the public eye because it means we’re doing something right,” Hearn said.
“He doesn’t like to be challenged in his own market, but you know we have a lot of respect for Bob and Top Rank and we look forward to the challenge.”