Eddie Hearn does a complete 360 on his views on VADA
People are labelling Matchroom promoter as 'The Contradictory King'
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has come under fire from fight fans after an interview clip resurfaced from a few years back where he condemned another boxer for failing a VADA test, despite passing UKAD tests, and was furious he was still being permitted to fight.
The short clip from the previous interview emerged once more on social media after his fighter Conor Benn failed a VADA test just a few days before his clash with Chris Eubank Jr. this Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London. Despite the BBBofC prohibiting the fight, 43-year-old Hearn is using his lawyers to contest their decision to force the fight to go ahead anyway, causing a backlash among fans who deem it dangerous and corrupt.
In 2018, Billy Joe Saunders, who was with Frank Warren at the time, pulled out of a fight with Hearn's middleweight Demetrius Andrade due to a failed VADA test, which the Briton blamed on ingesting a nasal spray during a recent cold in camp. Saunders passed all UKAD tests, however.
Hearn was quoted in an interview slamming Saunders: "I don't need to save money, I wanna put on good fights, so that was a good fight for DAZN, so I'm disappointed. But what is the point in signing up for drug testing if, when you fail, everyone just goes 'oh don't worry about it, just let him fight', you know? The argument of 'well it's alright with UKAD' is totally irrelevant, you've signed for drug testing with VADA – the best testing agency, in my opinion, in the sport."
The Matchroom CEO even said these damning words as well: "I really I wanted this fight to happen, but he failed a VADA test! You can't ignore it, otherwise the sport's a mockery."
Yesterday, Eddie's statements on Conor Benn passing his UKAD tests but failing VADA was that his fighter hadn't committed any doping violations and should still be allowed to fight, which is the complete opposite view to what he voiced when it wasn't his man committing the offence, earning him the nickname 'The Contradictory King'. He was captured on camera repeatedly labelling VADA's involvement as "irrelevant".
Hearn's conflicting words at yesterday's Benn-Eubank media workout were: "Both guys signed up to a multitude of testing for this fight. The UKAD testing, which is the testing agency that the BBBofC used and are governed by, have all been clear and negative, and there was an adverse finding on a VADA test previously, so there's not been an official doping violation.
"There's a process that has to be gone through, Conor Benn is not suspended. He can't be because he's passed all the tests from UKAD, but clearly the British Boxing Board of Control will take a position on it, we'll deal with the lawyers.
"Both camps prepared to progress with the fight, but ultimately the conversations have to be had with the lawyers and the teams, and British Board of Control.
"But we have see where we go from here because if the Board aren't suspending Conor Benn, and they won't suspend Conor Benn, they don't have the right to under their jurisdiction with the tests that he's been passing with UKAD.
"The ongoing process now with the investigation, it's a difficult situation for the Board because the Board do not acknowledge VADA testing. You remember when Billy Joe Saunders tested positive for VADA? He was banned by the Massachussets Commission, the Board did not suspend him or ban him because they don't acknowledge VADA.
"They only acknowledge UKAD, of which Conor Benn has had multiple testing for this fight and it's all been negative, so there's a lot to digest and go through, and right now, obviously, the legal teams are speaking to the Board, they have to be comfortable as well to obviously sanction the fight and we'll see how it unfolds."
One fight fan on responded to the video clip circulating on Twitter with: "Could make a Netflix show about Eddie contradicting himself, depending on if it's his fighter or not."
Another replied: "Let's be clear here, Eddie said outright he's not happy for Joshua Buatsi to fight Jean Pascal without VADA testing, but happy for failed VADA-tested Benn to proceed."
A few took to Twitter to call Hearn a hypocrite: "What an embarrassment for Eddie Hearn who is 100% a hypocrite. His actions and stance today were a disgrace. I'll never pay for another fight this man promotes."
Buatsi vs Pascal
Hearn was further subject to abuse from fight fans over his recent comments regarding the breakdown in negotiations between two-time world champion Jean Pascal and rising light-heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi from Croydon.
Hearn went on-screen to say, "I've got no problem with this fight happening on BT. What I've got a problem with is VADA testing not being in the contract. I can't let my fighter go in with a fighter, off the back of Jean Pascal's failed test, without VADA testing in the contract."
Pascal's promoter, Lou DiBella, took to Twitter to clarify this particular situation, "There WAS sufficient drug testing in the Pascal fight. VADA testing was arranged. Eddie/DAZN pulled Buatsi out because they didn't want him on BT, the true and only reason. There's no inconsistency about PEDs. It's always been about business and economic self interest."
Haitian-born Canadian boxer, Jean-Thenistor Pascal, added to the argument that Eddie was spreading "fake news" and asked him to stop with his "false narrative".
Whyte vs Rivas
Harvard educated DiBella, who manages Amanda Serrano and George Kambosos Jr., reminded the public of another scandal, long forgotten, where Hearn allowed a fight between Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas to go ahead despite adverse findings in his fighter's VADA tests, who had been banned for doping before in his career. It wasn't until after the contest, which Whyte won, that the findings were released, meaning Rivas fought against a performance enhanced opponent unknowingly.
The Briton tested positive for metabolites of the prohibited performance enhancing drug Dianabol prior to his 2019 WBC Interim heavyweight fight with Colombian Rivas.
UKAD not only allowed the fight to proceed after a positive test from Whyte but failed to notify his opponent who was literally stepping into the ring with his life on the line against a possible drug cheat. UKAD and the British Board of Boxing Control failed to take action or even notify the Rivas camp of their findings in an unashamedly, irresponsible and potentially deleterious decision that continues to haunt the integrity of the sport.Eddie Hearn provides latest update on Eubank-Benn fight