Eddie Hearn has opened up on his promotional rivalry with Frank Warren of Queensberry, and how it’s been present his entire life.
The family feud seems to stem from the 1980s, when some of the fighters who were signed with Warren started jumping ship to Barry Hearn’s Matchroom. As two titans of the sport in the UK, it was of course only going to escalate as time went on. When the younger Hearn started taking the reins, history repeated itself, with the likes of Tony Bellew making the switch.
None of the above has been helped by blows traded via the media over the years – a media that has admittedly stoked the fire of the British boxing beef. Things began to look up recently as the two companies were forced by their fighters to attempt to negotiate. Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua both wanted it, but it never did materialise.
Still, it opened a dialogue between Queensberry and Matchroom, primarily taking place between George Warren, Frank’s son, and Eddie Hearn. Hearn told Boxing Social that, whilst the rivalry has been around since he can remember, things are looking up.
“When my dad was promoting, they were rivals as well. So I kind of grew up in that rivalry really. It’s not that it’s been personal to me but they’ve never [worked well together]. Socially I think they’ve got on. I’ve never really met Frank but everyone tells me ‘socially, you guys would get on.’”
“We’ve been rivals. Now, you can go through good spells and bad spells, and at the moment we’re in a good spell. I don’t know where that’s going to do – maybe we make more fights, maybe next week he says something I don’t like. But, at the moment, I think Frank Smith is right – it has been a breath of fresh air dealing with George Warren.”
Going on to address promoters collaborating more generally, Hearn believes any personal feelings should be set aside as deals are made.
“When you talk about me upsetting people – don’t worry about whether you like me or you don’t like me, do you want to do business? Do you want to make great fights?”
Of course, the ultimate show of solidarity between the two promoters would be to finally make that Fury – AJ fight. Perhaps in 2023…