Eddie Hearn to Lead Boxing’s British Invasion

By Paul Magno on October 5, 2017
Eddie Hearn to Lead Boxing’s British Invasion
At the end of the day, all good boxing is good for all of boxing. A rising tide lifts all boats.

UK promoter Eddie Hearn made his first move into the American market last week by signing former middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs…

In the early 60’s, the American rock and roll scene had become dull and listless, filled with posers and one-time originators who had grown bloated and complacent from their earlier successes. It took an influx of British talent, such as The Beatles and Rolling Stones, inspired and mentored by American artists, to bring energy back to American rock. This great wave of incoming UK talent was called “The British Invasion” by rock and roll historians.

The American boxing scene may be on the verge of seeing its own British Invasion.

UK promoter Eddie Hearn, head of the highly successful Matchroom Boxing promotional company, made his first move into the American market last week by signing former middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs. It will be the first of many future moves in a huge market that has been woefully underperforming for years.

Matchroom Boxing USA won’t have to do too much to outperform the sport’s current US promoters.

For the most part, these days, American boxing promoters don’t actually do all that much promoting beyond preaching to the choir of already-sold die-hard fans. Very little is done to bring back estranged fans or convert “casuals” into regulars—and nothing is ever done to actually make NEW fans. Boxing promotion, USA style, seems limited these days to press releases, conference calls, and tired faux-press conferences.

Hearn, who built—and continues to build—his company brand through shrewd high-end acquisitions and grassroots development, seems to have a much better grasp on how a promotional company should actually promote.

“You don’t promote fighters during a seven- or eight-week camp,” Hearn recently told Boxingscene. “You promote fighters 365 days a year…There’s very little promotion going on for some great fighters right now. There’s no plan. There’s no activity.”

As for what to expect from his promotional efforts in the States, Hearn, in so many words, promises life.

“You’ll see a new energy, you’ll see better fights, in my opinion, you’ll see a different kind of audience, you’ll see them getting interested through digital programming, through social media platforms as well.”

Hearn’s chances for success in the US market seem high, especially considering his track record at home and the load of current American talent potentially at his disposal.

The rise of manager/advisor Al Haymon and his massive acquisition of North American talent with loose or non-existent promotional ties opens the door for someone savvy like Hearn to swoop in and sign up the biggest and/or most marketable fighters who may be itching for more promotion in their professional lives. According to Hearn, under-promoted American fighters are already jamming up his phone lines with requests to come aboard.

Jacobs is the first such fighter to be brought over to Matchroom Boxing USA but there will be many more right behind him. Names such as Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia are among many high-end impact players without firm promotional ties at the moment. It won’t be too difficult for Hearn and his company to put together a solid stable of 10 to 12 elite (or near elite) fighters who can make an immediate and, ultimately, positive impact on boxing in America. He can also, of course, import some of his own UK talents, such as Anthony Joshua and Kell Brook, for maximum exposure on big shows.

Frankly, it’ll be hard to NOT do better in promoting the American fight scene in America. And he certainly won’t do any worse than the current crop of American boxing promoters.

Hearn, as a smart, hands-on, and pragmatic promoter with a penchant for putting on outstanding live shows, doesn’t allow himself to be bogged down in boxing politics or handcuffed by ego-driven grudges with managers, networks, or other promoters. That, in and of itself, should be fuel for optimism among fight fans.

It’ll be interesting to not only see how Hearn’s plans work out, but also how American boxing promoters respond to someone on their turf, doing their job with a clearer mind and infinitely more energy. Maybe it’ll light some fires under some asses.

At the end of the day, though, all good boxing is good for all of boxing. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Back in rock and roll history, the British Invasion energized the American music scene and inspired a renaissance of creativity in the late 60’s. Hopefully, we can expect that same dynamic for the American boxing scene.

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  1. Hideki Tojo 02:22pm, 10/06/2017

    The only way Canelo could go the distance with a 6’1” 185 lb fight night Jacobs is to run baby run! He wouldn’t be able to steal rounds or launch surprise attacks like he did with GGG because he would be too busy making his get away, all the while banking on that one guaranteed wack a doodle Las Vegas scorecard if he does in fact make it to the finish line!

  2. Pete The Sneak 12:00pm, 10/05/2017

    Signing Jacobs is a good start. He is not only a very, very good fighter, but he’s a class act, well spoken and very promo-table with a great story.
    “You promote fighters 365 days a year.”..Yes, Eddie, that’s how it used to be back in the day. I honestly do see this being a successful venture for Match room Boxing and will be monitoring closely (with Fingers crossed)...Peace.

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