Johnny Nelson has made a somewhat surprising pick for his promoter of the year now that 2022 has drawn to a close.
Nelson was in the news this week as he was listed on The King’s Honours list, receiving an MBE for his success in the sport as the longest reigning cruiserweight champion of all-time as well as his work in his local community.
Now, he’s dishing out his own awards. Since retiring, ‘The Entertainer’ has worked as a Sky Sports pundit for a number of years, but in an interview with iFL TV, Nelson revealed that he believes Eddie Hearn of DAZN to be promoter of the year.
“You look at promoter of the year, I’d have to say Eddie [Hearn]. I’d have to say Eddie and I know probably Ben [Shalom] won’t like that, Ben is doing a brilliant job and Ben’s time is due, but I’ve got to say Eddie Hearn.
I think Hearn has put some matches together, worldwide, and this guy’s work ethic is ridiculous. I think Ben’s time will come, Ben is now laying the line down to say, this is what I’ve done, you are going to look back and look at what I have achieved.”
“You’ve got to say Eddie, like it or not. I’m clearly not wearing the Sky hat right now, but I think he [Hearn] has done a great job as a promoter.”
Matchroom, headed by Hearn, and Sky have become rivals since their move to DAZN, and promoter Ben Shalom has made big strides in the UK market after partnering with Sky Sports.
Hearn delivered shows across nine countries in 2022 and has made huge fights in Taylor-Serrano, Usyk-Joshua II and Canelo-GGG III, with Shalom putting on eye catching events such as Shields-Marshall, Eubank-Williams and Khan-Brook.
With Frank Warren putting on a record attendance show at Wembley and having what most regard as the best heavyweight stable, competition in the UK is high – which can only be good for fighters and fight fans alike.