Having won the purse bids for the mandated WBA ‘regular’ world title fight between Conlan and champion Leigh Wood, Hearn earned the right to promote this weekend’s clash.
It means the Matchroom boss gets the chance to work closely with the Top Rank talent, something he has always wanted to do, according to former world title challenger Jamie Conlan.
According to the former Commonwealth champion, the DAZN aligned promoter regrets not signing the Olympic medal winner – he admitted as much over a few drinks – and as a result, is delighted to have him on a Matchroom card and topping the March 12 Nottingham bill.
“Eddie’s dream has always been to work with Michael, as he stated on a nightclub in Las Vegas in 2017,” Conlan said.
“He realized he missed a trick not working with Michael and I think today [after the press conference] he is going ‘I should have signed this kid’. Eddie’s loss is Bob Arums’ gain and everything worked out perfectly for us. I think Eddie is loving what we bring to the table.”
While Conlan may be stirring things a little, it was clear Hearn sees serious value in the Belfast feather. He admitted motivation to win the purse bids was greater than just being able to call the shots for his fighter, Wood.
Katie Taylor, James Tennyson, Tommy McCarthy and Caoimhin Agyarko’s promoter revealed he wanted to bring a fighter with ESPN and BT Sport headlining experience to his platform.
“I did spend a lot of money. It’s a great fight for DAZN, you have a guy who has headlined on ESPN in America, headlined on BT, in Michael Conlan. It was like a statement of intent for us and DAZN, we want to get these big fights,” said Hearn.
The Conlan’s have already brought a lot to the table, the top table in particular. There display come press conference time has already helped to create the sense of tension and increased excitement levels for the fight.
Jamie Conlan claims it was an off-the-cuff approach that he believes caught Hearn off guard.
“I don’t think he expected us to come with that passion and with the chip on our shoulder, he didn’t expect us to shut up the crowd in Nottingham, it is all added to the intrigue,” he adds before stressing it wasn’t pre-planned.
“It was only myself and Michael sitting there and Wood walks in with the entourage, not purposely trying to intimidate us, but it can feel like that. Mick just turned to me and said ‘I’m just going to be myself. We had no plan or game plan, I wasn’t even meant to speak until they last me last minute. We didn’t plan to say anything we did but everything we did say resonated and sunk in.”