Saturday, September 07, 2019

No Holds Barred: Devin Haney, Manny Robles, Eddie Hearn, Joe Markowski, Ruiz-Joshua 2 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with lightweight contender Devin Haney, heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz's trainer Manny Robles, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, and DAZN executive Joe Markowski.

On September 13 at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden, Devin Haney (22-0, 14 KOs) will fight Zaur Abdullaev (11-0, 7 KOs) for what is now being billed as the WBC interim lightweight title. The 20-year-old Haney is regarded by many as one of the rising stars of boxing. For the 25-year-old Abdullaev, this will be his first fight outside of his home country of Russia. This is the main event of a card which will be shown live on DAZN in the U.S. and on Sky Sports in the U.K.

We spoke with Devin Haney on a media conference call last month about what to expect in this fight.

On September 5, the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua 2 media tour landed in New York. This fight will take place December 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. It is a rematch of their June 1 fight in New York, where Joshua was stopped in seven rounds and lost his heavyweight belts to Ruiz.

As usual, little substance came out of the questions and interviews conducted at this press conference by the largely obsequious and obedient shills and triflers who make up boxing's dwindling media corps. That is not the case here.

At this press conference, we spoke with Joe Markowski, DAZN EVP North America, about the continuing negotiations for worldwide rights to show the Ruiz-Joshua 2 fight on December 7 from Saudi Arabia. As of this recording, DAZN will show it in the U.S. and is trying to get rights for all countries where DAZN operates. He also said the host broadcaster will not be Sky Sports, which is showing this as a pay-per-view in the U.K. The host broadcaster will be "a group attached to the Saudi Arabian government," he said. And we discussed future plans for DAZN, including an announcement expected shortly about the next fight for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.

Next we spoke with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. Little has been explained about the governance for this fight. Hearn said the lead body is the heretofore unknown Saudi Arabia boxing commission. Asked who is on this body, all he would say is, "Who is on it? A group of representatives that have been on it since its inception." Hearn said that this body started operating with the World Boxing Super Series card in September 2018 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, headlined by the Callum Smith-George Groves super middleweight final. But before this statement, there has been no known record of this body's existence on the record keeping site BoxRec. Hearn did add that representatives from the British Boxing Board of Control and from an American commission selected by the Ruiz camp would also be overseeing this fight. And we also discussed issues like the rules and officials for the fight.

Manny Robles, who is Andy Ruiz's trainer, is preparing his fighter to try to defend his newly won heavyweight belts. We discussed what happened in the first fight, what adjustments both Ruiz and Joshua are likely to make in the rematch, how he sees this fight going, and more.

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