By Barry Holbook: Eddie Hearn is over the moon now that Andy Ruiz Jr. has agreed to the terms for his rematch with Anthony Joshua in SAudi Arabia. Hearn is saying that the Joshua-Ruiz 2 rematch will be on par with great fights in the past.
Hearn drawing the wrong comparisons for Joshua-Ruiz 2
Eddie is comparing Joshua-Ruiz 2 to the third fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975, and with the Ali vs. George Foreman match i 1974. Those were certainly great classic bouts from Boxing history, and they set the bar high for the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch to measure up. The first fight between Joshua and Ruiz was nothing like the Ali-Frazier and Ali-Foreman fights. It was closer to the 1973 blowout between a young Foreman and Joe Frazier. Foreman destroyed Frazier by a 2nd round knockout after dropping him six times in the fight. What Ruiz Jr. did to Joshua was very similar to what Foreman did to Frazier in their first fight.
Hearn says Ruiz was the problem, not his team in SAudi deal
“A little mind games, and a little bit of negotiations. Probably people in his ear,” said Hearn to IFL TV about Andy Ruiz’s trouble with agreeing to fight Joshua in SAudi Arabia. “The only thing disappointing about what happened was, we kept his team into the loop about where it was going to be. We effectively gave them the choice of the UK or SAudi, and they wanted SAudi. So when we announced it, they were like, ‘We’re not going to SAudi.’ That wasn’t coming from them. It was coming from Andy Ruiz.
So we had to make sure he was happy. Obviously we had a contract that we prepared to enforce. There were a few things that we wanted him to do commercially in SAudi as part of the deal. So he was compensated extra for that as well. There was stuff about security, commission, drug testing; once all that was taken care of, I think he knew that he wasn’t able to pull a fast one or make a move, he said, ‘Okay, let’s do it,’” said Hearn.
Eddie doesn’t exactly paint a great picture of Ruiz Jr. when he talks about him not being able to “pull a fast one” on him. Ruiz’s problem with going to SAudi Arabia stemmed from the fact that he was stuck with the $9 million, while Joshua was going to get much more than that. With the site deal that Hearn got to stage the fight in SAudi Arabia, it was a huge bonanza for Joshua and Matchroom, but not for Ruiz. He obviously wanted to share in that big money, and not be limited to what the rematch clause said.
Hearn: Joshua vs. Ruiz = another Thrilla in Manilla
“Now you’re about to see one of the biggest heavyweight fights of all time,” said Hearn. “The world will stop to watch this fight. I have people who think I’m crazy. I tell you this is another Thrilla in Manilla, another Rumble in the Jungle in an obscure place where the whole world will be watching at the back of the sand dunes in SAudi Arabia. The press conference is next week; SAudi Arabia, New York, and London. Trust me when I say this is one of the biggest heavyweight events of all time. I don’t think so,” said Hearn when asked if Joshua is looking a little slimmer.
“You know, sometimes you have a photo of yourself, don’t you? And then you have one a couple of days later, and you say, ‘I don’t look too bad there.’ I don’t think he’s trying to take any bulk off. I just think he’s not been training. So he’s not been doing his weights. He’s not been doing his sprints. And, he’s not been sparring. He’s been resting mainly, and he’s been working on drills. So now he’s back in training. The press conference is next week,” said Hearn.
For the Joshua vs. Ruiz rematch to be as good as the Ali-Frazier 3 and Ali-Foreman fights, it’s going to need to be competitive and fast paced. Joshua was getting batted around the ring by Ruiz last time out, and the fight wasn’t all that thrilling to watch after the third. At that point it was like watching a long retreat. Joshua was too hurt and tired to offer up much of a fight from rounds 4 through 7.
Whyte’s B-sample results will likely be the same as the A-sample says Hearn
“The B-sample is the B-sample 99 percent of the time,” said Hearn in talking about Dillian Whyte. “Whatever was in the A-sample will be in the B-sample. What you don’t know is what was the findings even in the A-sample until that comes out. What I will tell you is if he was cheating, if he had a substance in him that was performance enhancing or whatever it was this stuff, he would not have been able to fight. UKAD would not have chanced it.
It don’t work like that. ‘Oh, we’re not sure mate. Go have a fight and we’ll see what’s going on.’ He was cleared. So I believe October is the final hearing. I don’t even know. There will be a full statement hopefully by then. You’ll get enough information, and say, ‘Fair enough,’ and he’ll get on with his career. If he doesn’t, you’ll be able to go the other way. What we know at the moment is he was cleared by the Commission,” said Hearn about Whyte.
The general belief that Boxing fans have is that Dillian Whyte’s B-sample will mirror his A-sample. What the fans don’t know is what the A-sample results were. There are plenty of rumors of Whyte testing positive for banned substances, but it doesn’t make sense that UKAD cleared him to fight with a positive test. Hearn seems to be very confident that Whyte will be cleared. So, he’s got to have an idea of what he tested positive for, and likely feels it’s not a big deal.
Hearn says Whyte wouldn’t have been cleared to fight by UKAD if there were a problem
“Trust me, if they had any thoughts that he wasn’t fit to fight, or if there was something in his system that shouldn’t have been in his system that would have had an effect on the fight or any kind of effect on the fight, he wouldn’t have been able to fight,” said Hearn. “Every time I’m Tweeting, someone says, ‘Where’s the B-sample?’ I’m not saying that’s irrelevant, but in the bigger picture when it all comes out, that won’t be, and I don’t know the answer to that. But I just think there’s a bigger picture to a B-sample and an A-sample. A B-sample will historically be exactly the same as an A-sample,” said Hearn.
Fans think that UKAD kicked the can down the road after seeing the results of Whyte’s A-sample. Instead of addressing the issue on the spot in either clearing or suspending him, UKAD chose to wait until the B-sample results come back. Hearn is saying that the B-sample results won’t come in until October. That’s two months from now. That’s a long time for the Boxing world to have to wait for the test results. They want to find out what’s going on with Whyte, and obviously so does Oscar Rivas.
GGG signing with Matchroom sets up potential fights with Saunders, Jacobs and Callum
“Me with the responsibility to help guide his career,” said Hearn about Gennady Golovkin. “That means a lot to me. I won’t let him down, because that’s a big responsibility. He could have gone with anyone. [Al] Haymon, [Bob] Arum, but he chose us. So in America that’s a major win for us in terms of our stable, because that helps open up the other fights with Billy Joe [Saunders], [Demetrius] Andrade with the [Daniel] Jacobs rematch, with Callum Smith. But we’ve got to make those fights. It’s up to us and DAZN to say, ‘No, you’re fighting him, and you’re fighting him. But of course the money has got to be right for them,” said Hearn.
GGG might not ever fight Hearn’s guys. He’s already fought Daniel Jacobs two years ago and beat him, and there’s nothing to gain in facing Hearn’s other fighters. Demetrius Andrade, Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith aren’t well known in the U.S. So it would be a situation where GGG would help their careers by fighting them, but not the other way around. Out of all the fighters Hearn has, only Jacobs would interest the U.S Boxing public for a fight with Golovkin. Callum isn’t even popular in his own country of UK, thanks to Hearn.
Hearn: I’ve got to deliver fights for Callum Smith
“It’s another Joe Gallagher beauty,” said Hearn in responding to Callum Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher saying that they’ve had offers from rival promoters to fight for them. “I think Callum is in position where we have an option for his next bout. I think the World Boxing Super Series was so good for him an so bad for him. It was so good that he came out of the tournament with a load of money and a belt. It was so bad that he came out with his profile effected in terms of where it should have been. The massive fights are out there for Callum on DAZN, but we’ve got to deliver them.
The next one is I’d like for him to fight in Liverpool in a homecoming. That’s the next one for May [Anfield Stadium]. We’re talking to Liverpool, and that’s the plan to go do that. Again, against who? I think what Joe is trying to do is to put the pressure on. If they want that fight [Saunders], that fights there, and that may be the fight for Anfield. But what I think Joe is trying to do is put the pressure on, and say, ‘We’re going to fight in Liverpool, but who are you going to deliver after?’
And I have to go out and try and deliver those fights. If not, then he may get a big offer to go fight somewhere else. He will never make the money that he could make taking the mega-fights on DAZN. But he’s got to get them. You can’t just lie to the fighters. ‘I’ll get you Canelo,’ but will you though? I’ve got to actually go out, and show what can be delivered, and make that as part of a longer plan.