Eddie Hearn’s thoughts have changed regarding the ill-fated Conor Benn versus Chris Eubank Jr fight, having previously been convinced it would make it over the line.
The Matchroom promoter has been talking up this fight with real confidence throughout November. He had spoken of January and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as a potential date and venue, saying the fight was going to happen.
Even recently when the date was pushed to February 3 and the British Boxing Board of Control said an application from Benn to be licensed was refused, he remained bullish.
Now, speaking to Boxing Social, Hearn has said everything has been done on Benn’s side, but Eubank is ‘very difficult in negotiations.’
“The Eubank fight is there, Feb 3, ready to go. Spurs, 70, 000, but Eubank is very difficult in negotiations but I understand. You’ve got your number you think this fight is worth and we’re not there. Will we get there in the next 36 hours? Maybe. The first fight took eight weeks to sign.”
“I’ve seen the offer, I don’t know any other fight that gets within a third of the number. But Chris is Chris. He’s a stubborn guy and he’s going to do what he thinks is right but hopefully, he gets the right advice and we can get it done.”
Hearn is now worried that if the fight isn’t done soon, the promotion will become strained.
“Last Saturday was the cut-off, but you start thinking maybe another day we get this done. It starts to become more of a risk the closer you get to the fight. And we’re putting up the money. We have to announce this week and get it up and on sale before Christmas. We can do that. We can announce it tomorrow, not a problem, as long as its announced and up we can do the press conference the first week of January.
But we are running out of time and are probably two days past our intended deadline. But we want to make the fight, British boxing needs the fight and we will do everything we can but I’m not sure.”
Lastly, he was asked to give his one-word view on whether right now he thought the fight would happen or not.
It’s a stark difference from the confidence of previous months.
One way or another, this ongoing saga seems likely to be sorted within the next week. Benn has already started calling out alternatives, included recently crowned super-lightweight champion Devin Haney.