“When I was 15, they put me in to spar a lad of 18 or 19 and he gave me a pasting,” he said. “I was miles behind him – and he wasn’t a world beater. I don’t think I went back after that.”
This month marks the 30th anniversary of Hearn’s involvement in boxing.
His father, Barry Hearn, staged his first show in October 1987 – and 40,000 fans filled White Hart Lane for the Frank Bruno-Joe Bugner fight, a fight that sold rather better than it might have done.
The tabloid press and Barry did a good job of selling what was always likely to be a one-sided win for Bruno.
Eight-year-old Eddie was there at ringside, fell in love with the sport – and went on to become one of the world’s biggest promoters by accident.
Hearn spent several years working for a sports marketing agency and said: “I decided to work at Matchroom and worked on the online gaming, producing online poker tournaments.
“I was at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and Audley Harrison was at my table.
“He asked me to get him a six rounder, but I talked him into ‘Prizefighter.’
“I told him if he won that, then he could fight Albert Sosnowski for the European title and David Haye for the world title.
“I just made it up, but everything I promised I delivered and I learned a lot along the way. I didn’t really know what I was doing.
“The Haye-Harrison fight didn’t really deliver and I took the flak.
“After the Haye fight, I thought: ‘That’s me done,’ I didn’t have any ambitions to be a boxing promoter. I just wanted to have fun and make a few quid.
“But a couple of weeks later, Tony Sims contacted me and said: ‘Do you want to look after Darren Barker ?’
“Then I met Kell Brook at a Prizefighter in Liverpool and he said his contract with Frank Warren was coming to an end.
“We met him and signed a contract.
“A couple of weeks later Rob McCracken rang and asked if I wanted to work with Carl Froch.