Boxing

'He doesn't have to like me... I know he'll respect me as a promoter': Eddie Hearn wants Carl Frampton back at Matchroom

Eddie Hearn was in Belfast yesterday to talk about the next chapter in the career of Ryan Burnett. but it was inevitable conversation would eventually turn to the future of Carl Frampton. And, as Neil Loughran found out, the Matchroom Boxing boss already has huge plans if he was able to recapture ‘The Jackal'…

Carl Frampton and Eddie Hearn came up against each other when 'The Jackal' faced Scott Quigg in February 2016. Picture by Pacemaker Press

Neil Loughran: Eddie, you’re in Belfast today to showcase Ryan Burnett, but Matchroom have been constantly linked with Carl Frampton in recent weeks. Your flight leaves at 3pm, will you be meeting him or have you met him already?

Eddie Hearn: No, no… he was in Vegas [for Conor McGregor v Floyd Mayweather jr], I didn’t meet up with him in Vegas either. I expect us to meet and have conversations.

NL: How soon do you see those conversations happening?

EH: I guess they’ll be imminent. He will want a fight and he’ll want a fight this year. If he’s going to do it, he needs to get planning because we’re nearly in September.

I don’t know his position within Cyclone, there’s been a lot of silence there, but if Carl Frampton is available, I want him.

NL: Were you surprised to read his announcement that he was leaving Cyclone?

EH: When I heard the news, I was completely shocked because, from the outset, it’s a family, isn’t it? But there must have been major problems.

NL: You obviously know Carl Frampton having worked with him previously, but there appeared to be some personal tension between the two of you in the lead-up to last year’s fight with Scott Quigg. How confident are you that you can secure his signature again?

EH: Extremely confident. He knows what we can do, he’s worked with us on the Scott Quigg fight – it was the biggest payday of his career so far. I don’t know what turned bad with that relationship [with Cyclone] but obviously he’s extremely unhappy.

Cyclone are very sort of anti-Matchroom and very anti-Eddie Hearn, and now maybe that smoke has cleared… Again, he doesn’t have to like me. I know he’ll respect me as a promoter and I respect him hugely as a fighter, so if it’s good business…

I would like to get on with him and I think we would get on.

NL: It is understood that Frampton is still under contract with Cyclone – does that create a potential roadblock?

EH: I don’t know if that’s the case. I don’t know what they’re saying… it’s a messy process.

The one thing that puzzles me is the silence from Cyclone. I mean, if I had a fighter under contract and they put out a statement to say they’d left me, the first thing I’d do is put out a statement to say ‘no, no, no, no, no, he’s under contract with us’.

I don’t know what’s happening there, but if he is a free agent, we are very interested.

NL: There is likely to be plenty of interested parties but, if you were to work with him again, how would you see these crucial years of his career playing out?

EH: Five fights, and he has to be a pay-per-view fighter. I think he’ll want this warm-up fight or whatever you want to call it because he needs to be active.

He’s going to have a new trainer now, that seems apparent, so to jump into a Santa Cruz or someone like that…

For me, if I’m pitching at Carl Frampton, I’m saying we have that fight, then we fight Leo Santa Cruz outdoors in Belfast on pay-per-view in a massive blockbuster show with Ryan Burnett and Katie Taylor because he is a star, there’s no doubt about that.

He’s got to be in those kind of fights and the problem is they [Cyclone Promotions] couldn’t bring Santa Cruz to Belfast. I believe I can.

If they get the right offer, they’ll come.

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