Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn lost out on £1million from Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn's ill-fated grudge fight.
Benn, 26, was scheduled to fight Chris Eubank Jr last October but the fight was cancelled after the son-of-a-legend returned two positive drug tests for the banned substance clomifene. Hearn admitted that the fight could have taken place if they used a foreign governing body to sanction it, but they ultimately decided against doing so.
The entire process cost Hearn a seven-figure sum as he revealed on talkSPORT: "This fight could have happened but I made the decision for it not to happen. I sat there and let the ego calm down, when you talk about the money side. The five weeks that the board took to make the decision cost us a million quid, no problem. I wish they would have made the decision straight away, by the way it would have been the correct decision."
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The WBC [World Boxing Council] spent over a month breaking down a 270-page file submitted by Benn's team and have since officially cleared him of any wrongdoing, citing a 'highly-elevated consumption of eggs' as an explanation for his failed tests. Benn, who felt like he was on "death row" during the process, has refuted the WBC's reasoning and is unhappy with the organisation's verdict.
Benn has claimed the British Boxing Board of Control's jurisdictions attacked him "publicly and privately" but insisted to return to the ring with extra mental strength because of the issue. Hearn has turned his focus to clearing Benn's name in the UK as the 26-year-old is yet to discover whether he will be able to box in the region again under the BBBofC's jurisdictions.
“At the moment, he’s in a legal position with the BBBofC," Hearn added. "Now people say about my mistake of backing Conor Benn, I say this: I believe Conor Benn. There has been no benefit to me from a profile way or perceived integrity position to back Conor Benn. I believe the young man. 100 per cent. This kid has got a good heart."
Eubank Jr was beaten by Liam Smith in February and has since activated his rematch clause to face the Scouser again, but Hearn has insisted their second fight is far from official and he still wants to make Benn vs Eubank Jr. "He’s not signed to fight Smith and the money [for fighting Benn] is two or three times what he would get to fight Smith," he added.