Eddie Hearn can look back on many standout moments in his career as a boxing promoter but there are three which fill him with pride.
The 43-year-old now plies his trade across the world from Britain to America, Spain to Mexico with a dip into the Australian market to come next month.
The Matchroom Sport Chairman sat down with Alex Krassyuk, promoter of Oleksandr Usyk, to discuss a wide range of subjects which included the fights he is most proud of.
Froch vs Groves
His trip town memory lane began with a rematch that a certain British super middleweight doesn’t stop talking about. Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch had a point to prove after a controversial win against George Groves. The rematch was set. May 31, 2014.
“The Froch-Groves fight at Wembley in front of 80,000.”
“It was the first major stadium show that we’d done, and I was close with Froch as well. I signed him at a time where he wasn’t getting what he deserved financially and then he made a lot of money on that fight and that made me very proud.”
Joshua vs Klitschko
Three years later and another visit to the home of English football.
A British heavyweight was on a rapid rise and already world champion after 16 fights. But taking on Charles Martin, Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina can’t prepare you for a battle with one of the most dominant heavies of the modern era as Hearn recalled.
“Joshua-Klitschko because it was so far before his time. He went in with really no experience, no understanding of what boxing was and what it took.”
An iconic night, an iconic fight for the modern era that saw the drama go back and forth.
“Just heart and strength and power and [Joshua] obviously knocked Wlad down. He got up. Wlad knocked AJ down he came back in the 11th that was just an incredible night.”
Joshua vs Ruiz 2
Fighting at one of the most iconic venues in the UK was now ticked off the list for Joshua. Breaking America would be on the agenda two years later in 2019.
What took place at Madison Square Garden was another highlight for heavyweight boxing in the 21st century but in the Brit’s case for all the wrong reasons.
Andy Ruiz should have been the perfect opponent for a highlight reel ending but instead the American tore up the short script and created his own fairytale by taking the titles at MSG.
Hearn’s third and final choice was Joshua’s shot at redemption after that calamitous night. Following a summer of woe ‘AJ’ went straight back in with Ruiz later that year.
The new champion was out of America and in the Middle East making his first defence as unified heavyweight champion. Joshua was disciplined from the opening bell. Mistakes were few and far between and this time it was brains rather than brawn which took over.
“AJ against Ruiz 2. The first fight was devastating but the second fight was – it’s only when you get 24 hours out and you go this is it. If you lose this fight, back-to-back defeats, where do you go? The pressure on that night was just unbelievable for everyone.”
On August 20 Hearn and Joshua will hope for another memorable night in their careers together when the 32-year-old Londoner looks to become a three-time heavyweight champion by beating Oleksandr Usyk in Jeddah.