Eddie Hearn Disappointed At Joshua Buatsi’s Comments Towards Himself And DAZN
Eddie Hearn has twice tried to match WBA Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) with British contender Joshua Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs). Earlier this month, it was revealed that Buatsi had turned down the opportunity for the second time, a move which was blasted by the leading promoter and some fans.
Hearn revealed that the 30-year-old had passed on ‘well over’ million pounds ‘ to face Bivol in an interview with Eat Sleep Boxing Repeat. He also criticised Buatsi for wanting to face European champion Dan Azeez instead of WBA champion Bivol or former Ring Magazine champion Callum Smith.
The unbeaten Light Heavyweight had signed a multi-year deal with Ben Shalom’s BOXXER, it was confirmed earlier this week. When asked why he made this move, Buatsi hit back at Hearn/DAZN “I want people to say, ‘We know what channel to turn to.’ I’m not gonna tell you to download an app, to type in your email. My last fight, I asked myself, ‘How many watched it?’ I don’t think a lot of people saw it.”
Buatsi also responded to Hearn’s comments on the Bivol offer in an interview with Boxing Social “What were the caveats? You end up signing an extension of another 2/3 years at a channel you don’t wanna be on… This guy will say anything he wants to say, I couldn’t care less.”
It’s fair to say that the response was certainly out of character for Buatsi and it was not left without challenge from Hearn who expressed his views on Buatsi’s reply to the Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel.
‘Disappointed, ‘that guy’ took him from pro debut to British, Commonwealth, World #1. Walked him into a 7 figure payday to fight Bivol for the world title, didn’t want that fight, didn’t want the Jean Pascal fight.’ Eddie Hearn believed that a world title shot was the ‘natural step’ for Buatsi to take and accused the WBA #1 of still wanting to fight at domestic level.
An IBF final eliminator was on the table for Buatsi late last year. At the time, both Hearn and Buatsi’s team revealed that VADA testing was the issue with the fight not materialising but recent comments from Hearn and Buatsi’s new promoter Shalom suggest that might not have necessarily been the full story.
A common argument made as to why a fighter would leave Matchroom for BOXXER is the exposure. BOXXER have shouted from the rooftops about the ‘Sky platform’ and Shalom has claimed on multiple occasions that every fighter wants to box on Sky. Hearn believes the global aspect of DAZN more than compensates for the difference in the size of the platforms domestically.
“Joshua Buatsi boxed his whole career on Sky outside of two fights, and now it’s this fresh new platform that no one’s ever seen before. The viewership for DAZN globally is on another level to BOXXER viewership globally.”
Although Sky Sports is undoubtedly a much larger channel than DAZN in the UK, it must be said that BOXXER doesn’t have a US TV deal which means most shows end up without US viewing capability or pay-per-view on FITE; a key market for boxing is often missed.
Joshua Buatsi makes his BOXXER debut on May 6 at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham. An opponent is yet to be confirmed. He hasn’t fought since a tight decision win over Craig Richards in a world title eliminator last May at London’s O2 Arena.