Money Talks: Eddie Hearn wants to "steal" Gervonta Davis from the Saudis

Eddie Hearn wants to break the dominance of Saudi Arabia in organizing the best spectacular boxing events

by Sededin Dedovic
Money Talks: Eddie Hearn wants to "steal" Gervonta Davis from the Saudis
© Al Bello / Getty Images

In recent days, the boxing scene has been marked by the challenges that have arisen between Gervonta Davis, an American boxing star, and Turki Alalshikh, a Saudi known for organizing spectacular boxing events in Saudi Arabia.

Alashikh is very rich, and has a lot of influence in Saudi Arabia. It all started when Alalshikh expressed his desire to see Gervonta Davis fight at one of his events in Saudi Arabia. However, instead of a diplomatic response or expression of interest, Davis responded with arrogance, demanding luxury cars as a condition for any negotiation.

'They made me angry. If they want me, they have to send something to my door, say two Ferraris or something. Only then will I start thinking about going there.' ', Gervonta Davis responded to Turki Alalshikh's invitation. This unconventional request did not go unnoticed, and Alalshikh responded in kind - by simply refusing such a request.

"I heard Davis say, 'Send me two Ferraris.' I answer him: We will send you two gloves if you want and that's all.' ' The Saudi is aware of his power to attract almost any boxer to his big events and is not prepared to tolerate individual boxers publicly humiliating him or setting conditions.

His main weapon is money, and so far no Boxer has resisted Arab money, and probably millions will influence Davis to accept the invitation and make a more moderate statement. This conflict is only the surface of the changes taking place on the boxing scene.

The organization of major boxing events in Saudi Arabia is becoming more and more common, diverting attention away from traditional boxing markets such as the US and the UK. In addition to geopolitical factors, there are a number of other factors that make this transition challenging for American boxers like Gervonta Davis.

One of those factors is the time difference. Fight promoters in Saudi Arabia often face the challenge of attracting American audiences who have to watch fights at unusually late times. Of course, boxing is the most popular in the USA along with Great Britain, so it is not surprising that Saudi Arabia is interested in adapting boxing events to America.

This not only reduces viewership but also reduces audience interest in boxing in the US. The financial aspect also plays a role, as organizers in Saudi Arabia have access to huge financial resources, which allows them to offer impressive bonuses to boxers and attract world-class talent.

Eddie Hearn wants Gervont Davis It is in this context that the initiative of Eddie Hearn, the head of Matchroom Boxing, comes, which wants to respond to the challenge posed by the Saudis. Hearn, aware that he had to offer something spectacular to keep the interest of the American and British audiences, presented a plan to organize a fight between Gervont Davis and Conora Benne, an English welterweight who is increasingly prominent on the boxing scene.

Eddie Hearn, Frank Warren© Alex Pantling / Getty Images

Ben is currently undefeated and is ranked high in the WBC's welterweight challenger rankings. Although there is a weight difference between Davis and Benne, Hearn sees this match as something that could "set America and the United Kingdom on fire." However, there are challenges to be overcome in the organization of this match, including the adjustment of weight categories or the search for alternative solutions.

Gervonta Davis is currently America's biggest boxing star, but he has only competed outside the US once. In 2017, he defeated Liam Walsh at an event in London, and the other 28 performances he worked on the territory of the USA.

This makes it more difficult for the Saudis to persuade him to perform in Riyadh, because it is obvious that he does not like to travel, as Davis himself said. One potential obstacle to the highly anticipated fight between boxers Gervonta Davis and Conor Benn could be their significant weight difference.

Davis competes at lightweight (135 lbs), while Benn fights at welterweight (147 lbs). While there is a super lightweight division (140 lbs), which bridges the gap between their current weights, it is unclear whether either fighter would be willing to make the necessary adjustments to meet in that division.

The size and weight advantage usually associated with a higher weight class could give Benn a natural advantage in strength and physicality. Davis, known for his technical skills and speed, should make up for this disparity through strategy and footwork.

A potential clash between two exciting young boxers of contrasting styles would undoubtedly pique the interest of boxing fans in the United States. Davis, as one of America's biggest boxing stars, has a powerful negotiating position, but the dynamics of the global boxing market are changing rapidly, and the competition is getting tougher and tougher. Hearn plans to schedule this fight for April or May.

Eddie Hearn Gervonta Davis