Barry Hearn attempted to dissuade his son Eddie from making the rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves at Wembley Stadium.

Interest in a second fight between the rival super middleweights, following their thrilling first encounter at the Manchester Arena, was such that they attracted in the region of 80,000 to Wembley on May 31, 2014 – 10 years ago today – and therefore a post-war record crowd.

In the years before Eddie Hearn ran Matchroom his father Barry had also overseen one of British boxing’s biggest fights — the rematch in 1993 between Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn, when for all of the interest in their rivalry after so entertaining a first fight between them, 55,000 watched them at Manchester United’s Old Trafford for a second time.

Twenty-one years later, and in an era in which boxing was less regularly on terrestrial television, Barry Hearn feared that his son was overestimating interest in Froch-Groves II and that he would therefore lose money hiring a stadium that would have countless empty seats.

When he was ringside that night he then knew beyond doubt that he had been wrong, and to the extent he is reminded of it on further occasions when he and his son, whose profile has surpassed his, disagree.

“Carl Froch had achieved quite a lot in the ring but he’d never really become a public figure and never really earned any money,” said the former chairman of Matchroom. “That was Eddie’s first big project – to make Carl Froch a national figure, and he did. 

“The first fight [in November 2013] was quite controversial, and the second one – he just phoned me up one day and said, ‘I’m at Wembley’. ‘What you doing there?’ ‘I’m checking it out for the Froch-Groves rematch.’ ‘Ed, Ed – come on now. It’s Wembley. It’s f****** massive. It’s not York Hall, Bethnal Green. It’s not even The O2. This is Wembley.’ 

“He said, ‘I think this is a massive fight’. I said, ‘I think it’s a great fight, but when you say massive, I did the biggest of all, which was [Chris] Eubank-[Nigel] Benn, 55,000 people at Old Trafford – the rematch — and I know what it does for you. These are very stressful, these big shows. You must be off your rocker’. He said, ‘You put me in charge, so if I’m in charge I make the call’. 

“That’s how it works – you never give someone a management position and then carry on managing yourself, ‘cause there’s no point in giving them a job. Reluctantly – and it was reluctantly – I said, ‘The worst you can do is it can lose a load of money; it’s not the end of my life’. 

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