Many people have been quick to consider the speed with which Eddie Hearn and Matchroom have responded to the adverse analytical findings in Dillian Whyte’s VADA tests compared to those of Conor Benn’s in October last year.
For some time following the news of Benn’s failed test, Hearn and co-promoter, Kalle Sauerland, seemed keen to push the fight with Chris Eubank Jr ahead regardless. It was ultimately pulled with intervention by the British Boxing Board of Control.
In contrast, this past weekend when the news broke about Whyte, it came alongside a statement saying that his fight with Anthony Joshua at the O2 in London was immediately cancelled.
Speaking on TalkSport, he was called upon that and asked what the difference was between the two situations.
“I think there’s quite a few differences. I mean, firstly, the tests, the results, the substances, were very different. “
Hearn went on to point out that Benn-Eubank was a co-promotion whereas Joshua-Whyte was a “pure” Matchroom promotion.
“Secondly the conversations between the teams were different. When we spoke to [Eubank’s promoter] Wasserman and the team they wanted to investigate the situation further.
There was a lot of cloud over the fact the board don’t recognise VADA because they’ve done it previously and Eubank’s team said after taking medical advice they were willing to proceed with the bout subject to what the British Boxing Board of Control had to say.
In this instance, AJ saw the results and wanted to cancel the contract straight away.”
He then admitted the previous situation was a steep learning curve.
“I will say, we learned a lot last time. It was a fresh situation we had to deal with.”
It’s fair to say Hearn and Matchroom have come out of this situation with some praise for acting quickly in light of the failed tests and for managing to keep the show on the road by organising late replacement Robert Helenius to step in to fight Joshua, live on DAZN.