Eddie Hearn on Jake Paul: "He’s Not the Worst Fighter I’ve Ever Seen"
If you only know Eddie Hearn as the brash and bold boxing promoter, who acts as a mouthpiece for fighters like Anthony Joshua and Canelo Álvarez, you hardly know him at all.
Did you know that Hearn fought inside the squared circle himself in his youth, or that his dad, Barry Hearn, still refers to him as a ‘silver spoon kid’ because of his privileged upbringing? Have you heard the story of how father and son bonded while going at it hammer and tongs in a sparring session when Hearn was just 16-years-old?
In our exclusive interview, Hearn reveals all of the above, while also speaking to us about some more contemporary subjects. If you've ever wondered what he really thinks about No Context Hearn, or Jake Paul for that matter, check out the video above. But just to whet your appetite, you can read some of his choice quotes below.
We're sure you won't be surprised to find out that Hearn has a lot to say for himself.
Eddie on Sparring His Dad at 16
"He [Eddie's dad, Barry Hearn] was very concerned about me growing up to be a silver spoon kid, as he sometimes calls me, and all the things that he hated growing up. He always wanted to try and keep me humble, and make me work for it, so he said to me when I get to 18, he'd take me down the gym and give me a lesson in what it's like to be a man. No one could ever really get their head around that, especially the school that I went to. But when I got to 16, I was already six-foot-plus, and he said we're going to have to bring it forward, so we went down the gym, put on the small gloves and we went at it, toe-to-toe. I remember seeing him through my guard, with his teeth gritted and he was just winging them in round the side of my head. I think in the third round I dropped him with a body shot, and he never got up. He was the proudest dad... he literally phoned everyone to tell them that I'd knocked him out and won the fight. It was like his seal of approval to go he's alright my son. He's one of us."
Eddie Hearn on His Amateur Boxing Career
"I had three amateur fights. [I was] pretty awful. I grew up from the age of eight around boxing, so I would be in the gym hanging around with Frank Bruno, Naseem Hamed, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank all these great fighters, so as a young kid you watch them and you think you have the ability to do it yourself, which definitely wasn't the case.
Eddie Hearn on Why He Quit Fighting
"I kept getting chinned.. this was at about 13 or 14, and as I was getting a little bit better I would step up the opposition, and unfortunately quickly realised I wasn't any good. I remember one sparring session, I took a big left hook and the head guard went to the side and the stars were spinning around, and I thought do you know what, that's my lot. I made an early retirement and an early exit."
Eddie Hearn on Jake Paul
"I like what he's doing. Forget the talk about him becoming a world champion or beating Canelo Alvarez, but everyone has a right to become a professional fighter, there's no barriers in that respect. It just so happens that he has a huge profile that allows him to earn millions of dollars doing it. He's not the worst fighter I've ever seen. He's definitely not the best fighter I've ever seen, but he's dedicating himself to the sport, he's doing the hard spars, the hard training camps, and a lot of people are tuning in to watch him fight...so as a promoter or a fighter, no problem with Mr. Paul."
Eddie Hearn on No Context Hearn
"The younger generation, like my kids when I go to school to pick them up, all the kids are talking about me, not for promoting boxing but because I'm on their TikTok explore page, all the time. It can be a little bit draining because I don't mind talking boxing to people, but when I get into a situation where I'm on a train and someone sits down next to me and says 'can you do that one where you're in the car?' I just think ah [deflated], but I guess I'm in a business where views and profile is everything, so I have to embrace No Context Hearn."
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