Eddie Hearn wouldn’t approach Matchroom’s head to head with Queensberry any differently – and intends on proving as much in the future.

Each of Hearn’s five fighters – Deontay Wilder, Filip Hrgovic, Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, Raymond Ford and Craig Richards – lost to their Queensberry counterparts, delivering to Hearn’s long-term rival Frank Warren the most satisfying of wins.

The largely one-sided nature of the respective victories for Zhilei Zhang, Daniel Dubois, Hamzah Sheeraz, Nick Ball and Willy Hutchinson makes it difficult to avoid the conclusion that Warren chose his fighters considerably more skilfully – Wilder perhaps represented the greatest risk of all – but Hearn believes that each could be considered a competitive match-up and that Matchroom were ultimately unfortunate that the margin of victory was so wide.

“It was a 60-1 accumulator – it was quite weird that it even went that way,” he said. “I really expected Craig to beat Willy Hutchinson, and I thought Ray did enough against Nick, but it was a 115-113 fight either way – you can’t really argue. But once that decision didn’t go our way, I always knew that ‘Ammo’ was up against it, but then I really thought Hrgovic would beat Dubois, and I thought Wilder would bounce back, and it got worse and worse and worse.

“I’m an optimist, so going into the Ammo Williams fight I’m thinking, ‘If we win here, we’re back on track, but if Ammo loses on points, and Wilder and Hrgovic win by stoppage, we still win’. But when Ammo got stopped we needed Hrgovic and Wilder to win by stoppage to draw, and in my head that was exactly what was going to happen. But when Hrgovic got stopped I was like, ‘F*** this’, and when Wilder stepped in, what chance did he have? It was a whitewash.

“We flew home together on the same flight. I think because we’re doing so much business together now, there was a little bit of gloating, but it was more, ‘Anyway, great f****** night; what we’ve gotta do is put this together; let’s do another one; let’s do this’. The other people at Queensberry stuck the knife in a lot more, and rightfully so by the way.

“[Defeat to Queensberry would previously have felt] horrendous. It didn’t feel good anyway. But I was really pleased with the event and what we got done, because I think everyone loved it.

“Some have said, ‘Why didn’t you put Andy Cruz in?’ Because that’s not the idea. The idea is that every fight’s a 50-50, so I’m not going to say to Frank – I don’t know – ‘Let’s put Boots [Ennis] in with Ekow Essuman’, do you know what I mean?

“It’s, ‘What about this match?’ ‘That’s a good fight – f*** me.’ ‘I like that – I think we win that fight.’ ‘No, I think we win that fight.’ That’s the fight to make. 

“It’s not like the very best of your stable. It’s great match-ups across the weight. I still thought we were gonna win, and unfortunately we didn’t. 

“We should have done it ages ago, but we didn’t, and we are now. We never expected to be doing it at all. Let’s make the most of it and say, ‘When’s the next one?’.”

Hearn was also asked if he believed the recent head to head, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, could have happened without the financial backing of Turki Alalshikh of the General Entertainment Authority, and he responded: “No. It’s not just the money. It’s his instruction and just to sit us both down and go, ‘Stop it – stop being idiots. Let’s just do this together’. 

“When I first met Frank I never expected the relationship to flourish like it has. I just thought it’d be a, ‘Alright, f****** hell – stay away from me and let’s just get on with it’, kind of thing.

“But actually now there’s a respect, and ideas to keep going and pushing the sport on. He obviously knows a huge amount about boxing, and so do I, and I think he underestimated how much I know about boxing and my knowledge of boxing, and I underestimated how much I’d actually quite like him. 

“I’ve always respected him, because he’s very resilient, but at the moment, just we’re… brilliant.” 

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