Eddie Hearn banged those drums for the Friday the 13th card at the Madison Square Garden Hulu Theater, and said he thinks that headliner Devin Haney is a superstar in the making, but if he isn’t, we will know on Friday, when he meets Zaur Abduellaev.
Portions of that card will screen on the OTT giant DAZN, for the record.
He also spoke at the Chelsea Dream Hotel on that Dec. 7 clash, the most anticipated bout of the year, when Andy Ruiz seeks to put lightning in a bottle, again,versus Anthony Joshua.
I asked Hearn if he thinks Ruiz’ head will be screwed on straight; hey, his world exploded, in a good way, and he’s earned money hand over fist, and he’s having fun spending it. (Click on the link for more tidbits from Hearn, on the undercard for the GGG MSG card, as well as for the Logan Paul vs KSI sequel).
Ruiz knows and admits he’s chunky, and he’s bigger than he was on June 1, by the looks of it. “It encourages me, I want him to eat more! It’s twelve weeks to go,” the English deal-maker stated. “I believe Andy Ruiz will weigh exactly the same next time out that he did for the first fight. It’s just that he is heavy at the moment, he’s just changed his life, he’s just become the world heavyweight champion, so he’s had a few parties, and he’s enjoying himself.” All in all, trust Ruiz, and that he will get properly ready for the throwing of hands in the sands tango, he said.
We also touched on other heavyweights, like Tyson Fury. “I think Tyson’s great, I think he’s a brilliant fighter. To waste your entire year, with two poor fights, when you’re coming off the momentum of a great performance against Deontay Wilder. You’re supposed to be building that second fight, all you’re doing is actually making people lose interest in that second fight. So, it’s just a bit weird, that’s all. ESPN and Top Rank are paying him a lot of money, for what? No interest in the fight, no subscribers, and no crowd! I just wanna see the best fight the best, I wanna see Fury fight Wilder!” Make Fury-Wilder 2 already, he stated.
Here is the release DAZN sent out, with quotes from the Haney presser, including from Heather Hardy, Amanda Serrano…
…and their promoter, Lou DiBella, who called for more opportunities for women, and better purses:
NEW YORK, Sept. 11, 2019 – To kick off back-to-back fight nights on DAZN, the media gathered at Dream Downtown for the final press conference ahead of the stacked Matchroom Boxing USA card on Friday, Sept. 13 at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
After an electrifying debut on DAZN in May, lightweight superstar Devin Haney (22-0, 14 KOs) will headline the night against Zaur Abdullaev (11-0, 7 KOs) for the interim WBC World Lightweight Title. In the co-main event, record-breaking seven-weight World Champion Amanda Serrano (36-1-1, 27 KOs) challenges WBO World Female Featherweight Titlist Heather Hardy (22-0, 4 KOs), and Michael Hunter (17-1, 12 KOs) will take on undefeated Sergey Kuzmin (15-0, 11 KOs) in a heavyweight bout.
DAZN coverage of the preliminary bouts will begin at 7 p.m. ET, with the main card starting at 9 p.m. ET.
“This is a huge opportunity. I’m happy to be here. Friday night I look to put on a great performance. I’m a totally different fighter, totally different thing. This will put me one step closer to where I want to be. Egis, I’m going to show you a little sample of what I’ll do to Lomachenko after I beat Abdullaev. I know Zaur will put up a great fight, but I’m ready. I had a great training camp, and come Friday night I’ll show the world who Devin Haney is, and I’m ready for the top dog.”
“We had a very good preparation for this fight. We had two months to train very hard. We’re ready to go. Many people are underestimating me, but come Friday we will show what we got.”
Eddie Hearn, Managing Director, Matchroom Boxing USA:
“Madison Square Garden, what a place, whether in the big arena or the theater, this place puts chills down your spine. Devin Haney is one of the most talked about young fighters in the world right now. He was saying he’s no longer a prospect, and I think he’s right, it’s impossible to say he’s one of the best prospects in boxing because he’s about to fight for the interim world title in a very tough fight against undefeated Russian fighter in Zaur Abdullaev with the winner being the mandatory challenger for Vasyl Lomachenko. The card from top to bottom is fantastic. The women’s co-feature is probably the biggest fight in women’s boxing. The co-main event on this card, the battle of Brooklyn, Heather Hardy vs. Amanda Serrano is a thrilling fight that will light up the Hulu Theater at MSG. And for me one of the top heavyweight fights of the year Michael Hunter vs. Sergey Kuzmin will be a brilliant fight. It’s great to see two young prospects taking each other on instead of waiting for a shot at one of the very big boys.”
Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America:
“We’re about to embark on a tremendous four-month period for DAZN here in the United States. The schedule we’re about to put together, and we have not yet fully announced our schedule, is already one of the strongest in the history of the sport of boxing. It would be very easy to stand here today and look past this weekend and look at some of the names, fighters, and matchups to come in the next few weeks and months. The likes of GGG, the likes of Ruiz vs. AJ, and very shortly we will make an announcement on Canelo Alvarez’s next fight. Huge fights, huge names, and a packed schedule starting this weekend. We don’t want to look past this weekend, for us it’s the start of the season of fight sports. Much is made about the kick off of the NFL in the United States, and boxing is not seen historically as a season of great fights. We’re putting that season together and it begins this weekend at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.”
“I’m so happy to be here. I love to fight. As WBO champion, I have the privilege of challenging any of the champions, and when we looked at all the champions we didn’t want to fight for a vacant title, like all these girls do, so we chose Heather Hardy. No disrespect, Heather Hardy is as tough as they come so we knew she wouldn’t back down from the fight. This fight will be 20 minutes,10 rounds of non-stop action. Friday night will be a treat, and if you can’t make it out, download DAZN. We will show we deserve to be here. It’s going to be a hell of a fight. It will be a great night of boxing.”
“I’ve become known as the girl talking about the pay and equality. I just want to say it’s never a reflection of how grateful I am to be here. Crying to pictures over at MSG with my mom, thinking we made it. I’m thankful for Amanda choosing me, she’s the best boxer in the world right now. I’m ready, I’m the toughest girl in boxing.”
“I have had a great training camp. I’m looking forward to this show. Happy to be at MSG. It’s a dream come true. Some of the best events in boxing are organized by Matchroom. I want to thank my opponent and I look forward to the fight.”
“This is going to be a very big step up for me being in the heavyweight division. He has a lot more experience than I do. I took this fight knowing this, but I want to prove myself. I try to challenge myself to the highest degree. He has over 200 amateur fights. I’m very prepared and can’t wait for the night to come.”
DAZN is the largest global sports streaming platform in the world. Since launching in 2016, DAZN has expanded across four continents with the app currently available for download in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan and Brazil. In the U.S., DAZN has made its mark as an attractive alternative to pay-per-view within the combat sports industry. The platform features big fights from Matchroom Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, GGG Promotions, Bellator MMA, the World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas, all for one affordable price, on any device – including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, games consoles and PCs. DAZN also features live MLB action each day of the season with its new daily show, ChangeUp. The much-anticipated daily program The Pat McAfee Show launched in September.