Eddie Hearn tells Livefight "Iím confident that Crollaís going to stop John Murray"
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn talks to LiveFight about Scott Quiggís latest world title defence and the local rivalry between Anthony Crolla and John Murray this Saturday in Manchester. Hearn also reveals build-up news for Froch-Groves and talks about an exciting end to the season involving two new cruiserweights.
LF: Eddie, Iím sure youíre feeling fresh from your fundraising efforts at the London Marathon but back to business now. We have Scott Quigg at the top of the bill defending his title against Munyai but the one everyoneís talking about is Crolla v Murray. How do you see that one going?
EH: Iím confident that Crollaís going to win and stop John Murray. Itís a great fight. Itís a pick-em fight. Nothing would surprise me. Both of these guys need to win badly to progress to where they want to be. Itís a Manchester derby so the atmosphere is going to be incredible.
LF: We all seen what Terence Crawford did to Ricky Burns and Crolla holds the intercontinental belt for the WBO. If Crolla comes through this test, how far away do you think he is from a fight like that?
Crawfordís at the top level but this fight is about a chance to put you in position for one of the world belts and of course, there is the possibility of Ricky Burns facing the winner of this fight. I think the most important aspect of this fight is that the loser faces a much darker future. Thereís a lot on the line and a lot of high stakes in this fight. Thatís what makes a great fight and creates atmospheres.
LF: From a promoterís point of view, when undercards fall apart with fighters dropping out like Cermeno and replacements such as Munyai coming in, how do you deal with that?
Cermeno was difficult because we only got a heads up of what was happening two weeks before the fight after having issues with his visa. You have to think on your feet because a plan youíve put in place is not going as planned. We had Joshua and Campbell on the bill but we had to replace them with Callum Smith and Sam Eggington late on. This is nothing new in boxing because you get injuries all the time. Joshua hurt his hand and Luke Campbellís father is very ill so he had to take a break. As long as the main fights stay in place, which they have, everythingís great and Iím looking forward to a good night on Saturday.
LF: What has AJ done to his hand exactly? What have the doctors advised him to do?
Heís got a small fracture to his hand. Theyíve asked him to stop punching for three weeks. To be honest with you, he could have fought but we have to listen to the doctors. Itís not a case of pulling him off to be on the Wembley show. Itís like a race car when you say itís not right to drive and we have to make a few changes so the appropriate action is just not to drive it. We have a precious talent in Joshua. Heís not a journeyman otherwise he would be in Manchester on Saturday but heís not. Joshua is willing to fight anyone 100 percent but this is a special talent so we have to make sure we do whatís best for him.
LF: Going to the top of the bill, Scott Quigg faces Munyai. What makes Munyai the perfect replacement to step in for Cermeno?
Iíve seen him a lot. I remember him knocking out Martin Power twice and Lee Haskins as well. Heís a very good fighter. Heís credible, dangerous, heís world-rated and a former IBO champion so personally, I think itís more difficult than Cermeno. I think he will have more ambition than Cermeno. Itís a tough fight and great for the super-bantamweight division because the general public donít know anyone outside of Rigondeaux, Santa Cruz, Martinez, Quigg and Frampton. People will look at this fight and say, ďwhoís he? Is he any good?Ē Well, the answer is yes.
LF: Can you see Frampton beating Santa Cruz in the future lining up another British world title unification fight?
EH: It would be fantastic but I feel that Frampton wonít get that fight. I hope he does but if he doesnít weíre ready. Iíd love to make it because itís one that everyone wants to see.
LF: Looking towards the big one of Froch versus Groves on May 31, what have we got in store for the build up next?
EH: We were supposed to have a press conference in Manchester this week but because of the extra ticket allocation, weíve decided to do it a week on Monday. Then, theyíre going head-to-head on Ringside again on May Day (May 1) which is going to be interesting. Not long to go now, itís 6 weeks on Saturday and the interest is building so canít wait for this fight.
LF: And youíve signed James DeGale on the undercard to face the winner, which could lead to another eagerly-anticipated British rematch if Groves wins so thereís lots to look forward toÖ
It couldnít have been set up more perfectly with James DeGale in a final eliminator to face the winner. Itís a great show with more fighters to be announced soon and itís shaping up nicely with Joshua confirmed as well. Froch-Groves is a tough one to call so anything can happen. The winner will face whoever wins out of James DeGale and Brandon Gonzalez, which is also a very tough fight but the bill is going to do great for British boxing all round.
LF: What have you got planned for near the end of the season in June and July?
EH: On June 27, we will be in Scotland for the return of Ricky Burns and July 12, we will be in Liverpool.
LF: Obviously Bellew will be at the top so after his impressive display against Brudov, how will you be moving him forward in the cruiserweight division? How close is he to a rematch with Cleverly, since youíve signed him?
EH: One more fight in July and then heíll rematch with Nathan Cleverly.