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Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn on Dana White pressing forward with UFC 249: ‘This is stubbornness’

Dana White
Dana White
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Celebrated English boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is surprised that UFC President Dana White is going to such great lengths to press forward with UFC 249 and believes it is in “bad taste” to continue staging cards given the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hearn, managing director of Matchroom—a company that oversees the career of heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua among many others—has praised White in the past but believes that hosting UFC 249 is a step too far.

“It’s unbelievable, I’d like to think that in boxing, there’s no one more roll your sleeves up and get on with it than me,” Hearn told Express Sport. “But even I wouldn’t consider staging an event right now. I’m not even thinking about options, not even on the radar. This is stubbornness. These are many of the things that make him successful but at some point you have to sit back and say ‘white flag.’”

Hearn remarked that he was surprised that ESPN were supporting White’s plans and insisted that neither Sky Sports or DAZN would allow him to host an event under these circumstances:

“I’m quite surprised ESPN are going ahead with this, obviously they want ratings and money. But with Sky Sports and DAZN, I would not be allowed to stage events right now. It’s bad taste to be quite honest.”

Hearn thinks White is being motivated by those who have told he cannot host the event and admitted that he had some kind of admiration for the UFC chief’s persistence.

“He wants to be a trailblazer, people have told him he can’t do it,” said Hearn. “But I know the feeling of being told something and you do it anyway. Half of me admires him for cracking on but the other half says ‘come on don’t be mad.’”

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