UK boxing promoter Eddie Hearn thought there were a number of things that went wrong with promoting such a high calibre fight.
It was pointed out by a number of people in attendance on Saturday night at the Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev rematch – that there were a number of empties seats at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
This was despite the fact the fight was between two of boxing’s best fighters pound for pound, in what was meant to be a highly awaited grudge match following the first fight.
Another observation pointed out was surrounding how the lead promoter on the night RocNation, never had their head honcho and worldwide renowned rap artist Jay Z even mention so much as a tweet about the fight in the build up.
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No social media promotion from him, no appearances, nothing.
One would think with a man of the significant fame and business clout such as Jay Z would have given the promotion a bit of a push at least.
Speaking to Kugan Cassius of IFL TV, UK boxing promoter Eddie Hearn who lobbied broadcaster Sky Sports to get the fight for UK and Irish boxing fans, wasn’t impressed with what he saw:
“I spoke to the guys at Sky, the press conferences and everything. All it is is standing up for an hour and a half and thanking everyone, chewing them off. Thank you to Richard Sturm of the MGM, thank you to HBO, thank you to this, thank you to that.”
“People don’t want to see that. There are so many different dynamics in that fight that you could have exploited. Virgil Hunter (Andre Ward’s trainer), what a great controversial character with so many opinions not afraid to speak his mind. The Kovalev trainer, John David Jackson. Again, the same. Kathy Duva – she’s Gold! James Prince, he’s a top boy.”
He went on:
“That’s so frustrating watching that with dare I say it, with what I could have done with those characters and teams. If I was promoting that show I would have guaranteed no less than 300,000 buys. That might sound arrogant but deep down you know it – that I could have smashed that pay per view. Pound for pound one of the best fights in world boxing with two guys that hate each other and you can’t do 170,000 pay per view buys? They (US boxing) just did Canelo vs Chavez Jr for over 1 million buys and it was a complete mismatch. Frustrating.”
The official pay per view numbers have not been released as of yet for the Ward-Kovalev rematch. It is understood that the first fight in 2016 did approximately 160,000 pay per view buys in the US.
For the full interview above, check it out on IFL TV YouTube (hat tip):