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Shalom: We Did Not Pay Double For Whittaker

Boxxer CEO and promoter Ben Shalom has responded to comments by Eddie Hearn that their new signing Ben Whittaker was paid double to join them.

It was announced this week that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Silver Medallist, who will be trained by Sugar Hill Steward, signed a long-term promotional agreement with Boxxer which will see Whittaker’s fights shown live on Sky Sports.

During the recent Canelo-Bivol fight week Boxing Social’s Andi Purewal asked Hearn about the then rumours that the 24-year-old would be signing with Boxxer.

“Literally the offer was twice what we were prepared to pay. The money’s crazy,” said Hearn.

In Manchester this week for the Boxxer Cruiserweight tournament our man Andi asked Shalom what he thought of Hearn’s comments. And of the Matchroom promoter’s belief that Sky did not back him as heavily during the beginning of his time with Sky as they have done with Boxxer.

“I don’t think that’s the case,” said Shalom. 

“I have great respect for Eddie and for Matchroom and everything they’ve done. I think our budget’s probably the smallest in the U.K. We’re just choosing where to invest and sometimes we have to make long-term decisions rather than short-term decisions. 

“We’re preparing for the future and if that means in the short-term, we have to take hits here and there we will. I think it’s just a case of where we use our budget and also, I would say there was no way we’re paying double anyone. I think it genuinely came down to Ben understanding what we could do for him, where we could place him and he’s not stupid. He’s not worried about the first cheque that’s ever going to be written for him. He’s worried about being a huge star and a huge box office star and generating serious money. This is peanuts in comparison to what his ambitions are. I don’t think we were miles above anyone.”

Click here to watch the full interview with Ben Shalom.