Eddie Hearn says he’s interested in signing Shakur Stevenson to his Matchroom promotional stable if he’s a free agent.

Hearn says if WBC lightweight champion Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) is willing to pledge his future, he would be the type to invest in. If Hearn signs Shakur, it could be another fighter he regrets signing.

Regis Prograis and Subriel Matias are two notable fighters Hearn signed that have turned out to be duds.

Criticism of Top Rank’s Promotion

Eddie feels that Top Rank hasn’t promoted Shakur right, and he blames that on his promoter, Bob Arum, who gave up on him several fights ago when he discovered that he wouldn’t be extending his contract.

Even if Arum had promoted Shakur better, he’d still likely not be a popular fighter because fans in the U.S don’t enjoy his fighting style. Arum could have thrown massive money by overpaying for top fighters to face Shakur.

Still, Shakur wouldn’t be a star if he stunk up the joint by running around the ring as he did against Edwin De Los Santos, Oscar Valdez, and Jeremian Nakathilia.

The Mayweather era is over, and fans nowadays want value for their money. They don’t want to be ripped off by paying to watch boring fights and kicking themselves afterward for having blown their cash ordering the matches.

Arum could have hemorrhaged money by overpaying Lomachenko, Devin Haney, and Teofimo Lopez to fight Shakur. His popularity likely dropped from those fights because he wouldn’t have engaged and fought like he did against De Los Santos by avoiding exchanges.

Stevenson’s Commercial Viability

“If Shakur wants to pledge his future, you make a significant investment. If it’s a two, three-fight deal, he’s going to be getting a lot of money, and it’s got to work for you as well,” said Eddie Hearn to the media when asked if he’d be interested in signing the free agent Shakur Stevenson to his Matchroom stable.

Signing Shakur Stevenson to a long-term deal with Matchroom would be a huge risk for Hearn unless the contract had an escape clause that would allow him to terminate it if his career didn’t pan out.

Shakur could be cancer for Matchroom, with him bringing in low ratings and being avoided by the top fighters. Hearn would be making a deal with the devil by signing Shakur and having a guy who fails to increase in popularity.

“I think Shakur, pound-for-pound, is one of the best fighters in the world. He may be unbeatable,” said Hearn. “He’s that good, but I think he’s been promoted terribly. I think some of that is because when Bob [Arum] knows a fighter is looking to leave, he’s out.”

Shakur hasn’t turned in any performances during his career that would suggest he’s a pound-for-pound fighter. He played it safe in his best wins against Oscar Valdez and De Los Santos, hitting and moving away all night. There was little for fans to cheer about in either of those fights because it was single potshots from Shakur followed by a two to three-foot step back.

“This probably happened two or three fights ago because Bob would have looked to have extended back then,” said Hearn. “Bob doesn’t look to extend now with one fight to go because you’ve got no leverage when you change the purses.”

Arum tried his best to turn Shakur into a star, matching him against Oscar Valdez, Jamel Herring, and Robson Conceição. He lacks the entertaining style this era’s boxing fans want to see. Popular fighters like Gervonta Davis and Canelo Alvarez are powerful guys who aren’t afraid to mix it up. Shakur is the opposite of that.

“So, once he knew that Shakur wasn’t going to extend, he’d made his mind up,” said Hearn. “‘He’s out. I’m not going to push him.’ Shakur should be a massive star, but he’s not. That works for and against as well in the sense that commercially, the money he’s on. He’s earned a lot of money.

“For the revenue he creates for the show, he’s earned a lot of money, but he hasn’t been pushed to make him a commercial success. I like him. I think he’s a great fighter and would be an incredible addition to the Matchroom team. If he’s available, we’ll definitely be having a conversation; whether it works for both of us, we’ll have to see,” said Hearn about Shakur.

Top Rank has been up against it from day one, promoting Shakur, who still fights with amateur style, and that doesn’t translate to the pro game. The peck run style that amateurs use, hitting with the white portion of the gloves, doesn’t work in the professional ranks. That’s Shakur’s whole problem. Although he left the amateur ranks, he’s set in his ways and cannot change.

“He [Arum] mentioned Shakur, and I said, ‘I’m not paying him the money you’re paying him, Bob.’ He went, ‘Ah, ah,’” said Hearn.

YouTube video

Read the full article here