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The pupils of his eyes narrowed. They could have pierced metal, tearing holes through opponents with

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Hearn this weekend promotes Anthony Joshua’s defence of his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles against Carlos Takam in Cardiff.

There will be around 80,000 fight fans at the Principality Stadium, confirming Hearn as one of the world’s top promoters.

In his teens, Hearn says he had ambitions to fight.

He had three amateur bouts with Billericay Amateur Boxing Club, won the lot, but ‘Eddie Hills’ decided he didn’t have a future as a fighter.

“They introduced me as ‘Eddie Hills’ and I was devastated,” said Hearn.

“I told my dad and I found out it was all his idea. He thought if they knew who I was, they would really put it on me and take liberties.

“I had some skills, I fancied myself a bit, I thought I was Sugar Ray Leonard, but you can’t be a fighter if you grow up in a nice house and go to public school.

“The other lads were much tougher than me.

“I remember seeing one of my opponents in the changing room before we boxed and telling my dad: ‘Great, I’ve got the fat kid.’

“But he almost took my head off.”

Hearn says he had two spells at the club – and remembers the moment he decided to walk away.

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