EDDIE Hearn knows how to get the boxing world talking, but usually it is not at his expense.
Maybe it was because he had just seen his underdog fighter vanquish a former heavyweight champion. Or perhaps he had just realised the millions Tony Bellew just made him — but his wild celebration after Bellew defeated fellow Brit David Haye on the weekend turned Hearn into a laughing stock.
The British fight promoter has become a social media meme after his celebratory embrace was comically rebuffed by Bellew.
— Daniel Grosvenor (@Grosvenor) 4 March 2017
Hearn excitedly jumped into the ring following Bellew’s knockout win over Haye and looked to embrace the WBC cruiserweight world champion, only to be tossed aside.
The promoter looked close to tears as he proudly embraced Bellew, but the fighter swatted him away. Hearn’s crestfallen look that follows makes the incident even more hilarious.
Bellew declined Hearn’s celebratory advances, as he wanted to pay respect to his opponent Haye, who had showed great heart to box most of the fight with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Haye and Bellew had made their heavyweight showdown hotly anticipated as the pair exchanged stinging insults in the lead-up. Former WBA heavyweight champion Haye was considered a heavy favourite, but the determined Bellew pulled off a significant upset.
Unfortunately for him though, the brutal “dis” of Hearn was what dominated talk post-fight.
Social media didn’t miss the opportunity to throw some shade at Hearn, who promotes some of the biggest names in British boxing, including heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
— UK Grime (@UKGrime) 5 March 2017
The Eddie Hearn Rejection is amazing??
— Chad (@chaddavies24) 5 March 2017
@EddieHearn Yes seen the way you celebrate last night ??? best part of the night
— Nas (@nastyHx) 6 March 2017
— Amos G (@AmosGunn) March 5, 2017
But you don’t reach the height Hearn has during his career without a quick comeback and he delivered the perfect response to one fan who called him out.
“I don’t do things to make fans and friends mate,” Hearn tweeted. “I’m just myself you can make your mind up. Personally I think I’m a legend.”
@RBeaumont9 I don’t do things to make fans and friends mate I’m just myself you can make your mind up. Personally I think I’m a legend
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) March 5, 2017
Hearn is the managing director of leading promotional company Matchroom Sport, an organisation first founded by his father Barry Hearn.
Hearn, 37, has promoted the who’s who of British boxing, including Kell Brook, James DeGale, Carl Froch, Anthony Joshua and Bellew — all world champions.
But he has a particularly special relationship with the “Bomber” Bellew. Hearn revealed in an interview post-fight why he was so emotional at the star’s upset win over Haye.
“He (Bellew) signed with me and he backed me,” Hearn told iFL TV. “He went to Canada and boxed Adonis Stevenson (Bellew’s only loss) and was like a skeleton. I said to him after that you have to move up (to cruiserweight).
“Everyone was slating me, but he went away worked, was in a Rocky film and he won the world cruiserweight title.
“Tony wanted this fight (with Haye) for so long he really believed he could beat him, I’m so proud of him. Tonight was about fighting against the odds and to be honest securing the future for him and his family.”
Hearn will turn his attention to helping promote the blockbuster world heavyweight unification fight between Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko that has sold out the 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium.
The promoter could soon have two heavyweight world champions on his books, as Hearn revealed he will look to secure a heavyweight title fight for Bellew.
Bellew moved to no. 2 in the world on the BoxRec rankings, above WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Hearn said he would look to negotiate a showdown with the American champ as well as WBO champion, New Zealand’s Joseph Parker.
“We want Deontay Wilder, we want Joseph Parker,” Hearn said. “Why not, he’s just beaten David Haye.
“I want to secure Tony Bellew a shot at the world heavyweight title and I want to do it back in Liverpool. It’s a fairytale”.
WBO champion Parker is the more likely of the two, and tweeted his interest in a Bellew showdown post-fight.
@TonyBellew All goes well May 6, I’ll fight you next at the 02 no problem ??
— Joseph Parker (@joeboxerparker) March 5, 2017