Inside The Failed Negotiations of Davis-Benn Bout

Boxing’s Big Miss: Hearn, Davis and the Benn Bout That Could Have Been

In the high-stakes world of professional boxing, the dance of negotiation often determines the bouts that light up arenas and our screens. Recently, the spotlight turned to a potential clash that had fans buzzing with anticipation: Gervonta Davis versus Conor Benn. At the heart of the matter, Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn has voiced his vexation over Davis’ reluctance to enter discussions for what could have been a blockbuster fight.

Hearn’s Frustration and Davis’ Response

Eddie Hearn’s attempts to bring this fight to fruition have hit a wall, much to his frustration. The Matchroom promoter extended an olive branch, an offer aimed at enticing Davis into the ring with Benn. The proposal was no small peanuts; a guaranteed $10 million with an upside on pay-per-view (PPV) and gate receipts dangled in front of Davis. However, the response from the Davis camp was less than enthusiastic. Taking to X, Davis aired his grievances publicly, “I was just trying to be good for the sport and beat ya ass in ya home town, but the spoon-fed white boy keep trying to cheat me outta my f****** money b****,” a statement that encapsulates the current state of boxing negotiations: contentious and far from private.

Photo: IMAGO

The Offer That Wasn’t

In the aftermath of the Edgar Berlanga-Padraig McCrory bout in Florida, Hearn elaborated on the situation in a conversation with IFLTV. Correcting the figures being bandied about, Hearn clarified, “I didn’t say that I offered him $25 million. I said I offered him eight figures, which is $10 million plus an upside on PPV and the gate receipts. I think he could make somewhere between $15 million and $25 million for that fight with Conor Benn.” The math, according to Hearn, adds up in Davis’ favour, yet the door to dialogue remains firmly shut.

Misunderstanding of Upside?

At the core of Hearn’s argument is a belief that Davis may not fully grasp the potential financial windfall that the upside on PPV and gate receipts represents. “He doesn’t even know what an upside on PPV and the gate even are,” Hearn expressed, highlighting a gap in understanding that could be costing Davis more than just a lucrative payday. It’s a scenario that paints a broader picture of the complexities and sometimes, the miscommunications inherent in boxing negotiations.

Opportunity Missed?

Hearn’s parting advice to Davis was one of openness, urging the Baltimore boxer to at least consider the proposal in earnest. The Matchroom promoter’s sentiment, “If he feels a fight against Conor Benn is an easy fight, then he should be having those conversations,” underscores the missed opportunities not just for the fighters but for the sport and its fans. The saga of the unmade Davis vs. Benn fight is a tale of what might have been, a narrative all too common in the world of boxing, where egos and economics collide.

As we stand back and survey the landscape, it’s clear that the bout between Gervonta Davis and Conor Benn could have been more than just another fight; it could have been a moment, a spectacle, a testament to the sport’s enduring allure. Yet, as is often the case in boxing, the fight outside the ring is sometimes as tough as the one within it.

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