Premier English boxing promotion Matchroom Sports has been busy preparing Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs for Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas.
However, back in England, during a press conference for heavyweight Dillian Whyte, Matchroom Promotions founder Barry Hearn gave a polarizing backhanded compliment.
When talking about the Dillian Whyte-Oscar Rivas matchup, Hearn recalled the days when he and his peers engaged in “slave trade” tactics with the talent.
Barry Hearn opens the Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas presser with a lengthy speech that raises a few eyebrows. Subscribe for updates – http://goo.gl/meA2GB More boxing news 24/7: http://goo.gl/aJFtws Follow on Twitter: http://goo.gl/VDYVMP Like on Facebook: http://goo.gl/mI5B64 SecondsOut is a world leader in boxing entertainment since 1999.
“Matchroom Sport has a fight by fight arrangement with Dillian Whyte,” said Hearn. “Isn’t that weird? He’s not tied up like the slave contract of yesteryear.”
“When I was running boxing, it was much easier,” he continued. “We were slave traders! We had these guys and they were working for us and we was the boss. The pendulum has swung. Now I have to say, ‘Mr. Dillian Whyte.’ I have to be respectful.”
The Problem With Honesty
Hearn concluded his statement with, “…and it’s really a nice position to be in because we can be honest with each other.”
However, the only honesty revealed is that the old guard are revealing their cave into the new dynamics of boxing. No longer are the promoters vultures of a blood sport.
Now, marquee level fighters have broadcasts and streaming options and more control over their careers.
Still, comments like Hearn’s feel like a lamenting former opportunist whose alliterations are based on an archaic, elitist viewpoint.
Whyte, who sat next to Hearn, laughed off the comment and didn’t make it an issue.
EDDIE HEARN; CLARIFIES HIS FATHER “BARRY HEARNS” SLAVE CONTRACTS QUOTE AND WAS TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT One Free Month of Dazn On TBV http://bit.ly/ThaBoxingVoicexDAZN https://www.patreon.com/Thaboxingvoice BUY THA BOXING VOICE T-SHIRT HERE http://thaboxingvoice.com/store PLEASE SUPPORT!!! SUBSCRIBE, SHARE & LIKE Please check out our facebook page and hit the like button.
Following suit, during one of the biggest fights for his company, the media in Las Vegas haven’t pressed Hearn’s son, Eddie about it either.
Hearn is also involved in other sports, including pool, tenpin bowling, golf, table tennis and fishing. He is currently the chairman of the Professional Darts Corporation, and was the chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.
With all the attention to his boxing business, Hearn’s son is leading that charge in a new friendlier athletic environment.
But the elder Hearn’s faux poetic wax explains a lot about how he became a British sporting oligarch and it was not through honorable means.