Exciting times

Eddie Hearn reflects on a 'dream year' and looks forward with excitement to the coming months.

Last Updated: 16/07/13 at 18:22

Darren Barker has come a long way in 12 months and fights for the world title ag

Darren Barker has come a long way in 12 months and fights for the world title ag

It's been an amazing 12 months since we signed the Sky deal where a lot has changed and the stable has grown at an astronomical rate. We've added world champions and some of the country's leading young talents and it's been a dream year.

Looking forward we've got four or five huge pieces of news or fights to announce in the next days and everyone's really excited about the new season, we can't wait.

The Kessler fight with Froch avenging the loss, the whole occasion with the O2 packed out and Carl getting the recognition he finally deserves, was the most pleasing night of the year.

On the same card Tony Bellew finally beating Isaac Chilemba was one of the most pleasing moments because he had come in for a lot of stick in the media. He was the one who took the rematch immediately and he had to deal with a lot of negative comments in that fight but I thought he fought beautifully and set up a fight with Adonis Stevenson.

You have to take every opportunity as it comes. Gavin Rees and Lee Purdy were huge underdogs but Rees had every fight to be there as a former world champion, while Purdy's chance came by default out of the rankings but with a situation like that you've got to take it with both hands.

Looking ahead Darren Barker is fighting Daniel Geale in America against an Australian who has never fought in America before. Darren's got the advantage there and the pressure is on Geale, it's his coming out party on HBO. Unfortunately he's going to be going back to Australia with his tail between his legs!

In an ideal world every fight would be in your back garden, but it doesn't work like that and you've got to take your chances when they come and Tony (Sims, Barker's trainer) wanted the Geale fight and you've got to grab it with both hands.

We will make an announcement about Scott Quigg fighting Yoandris Salinas for the WBA super-bantamweight title later this week. Salinas signed for Golden Boy last week which makes the process a bit more interesting but we're confident we can get the fight in Manchester, potentially in October.

When you look at our top level fighter the opportunities seem endless. You look at Froch, who could be fighting George Groves next, Barker vs Geale, Quigg v Salinas, Ricky Burns defending his title against Raymundo Beltran, Bellew vs Stevenson for the world title.

Then there's the fringe level where it won't be long before Lee Selby will be fighting for a world title, Brian Rose, Kell Brook in a big fight in October, and then you've got the kids coming through - talents like Martin Ward, Luke Campbell, Scotty Cardle and Tom Stalker to name a few. It's obscene.

We were pleased with Luke's debut on Saturday and the response we've had from the fans and Hull in general has been brilliant. In an ideal world the fight was 20-30 minutes late but there were still dads with their kids waiting around for his autograph when I was leaving at 1.30am. It was a great show and these 'stacked' shows are a sign of things to come. We have no choice because we have so many fighters.

We've got to make sure the fighters get the fights they need and that means stacked cards, we've got so many big nights lined up for the new season it's great news for everyone, and they'll all be moved forward more quickly now. People are realising you have to take these bigger tests, they won't be slung in at the deep end but there comes a point where it's time to go, take that big fight, and you'll see more of that going forward.

Brook's opponent is being finalised and it's just a question of whether they'll take September or October, and we'll know in the next two or three days. All I can say is Shane Mosley, Robert Guerrero, Vyashaslev Senchenko, Chris Van Heerden and Josesito Lopez have all been slung in to the mix and it will be one of them.

The situation with Bellew is that we've got about a week to sort out a deal with Stevenson before purse bids are due and we're not there yet. They can't take their interim fight (with Tavoris Cloud) until we agree terms for our fight and both fighters agree to fight Bellew before the end of the year. We're in a great position and they are talking about December 7 for Stevenson v Bellew, and if that's the case I'd like to give him a 10-rounder on September 21 if his team want that.

Kal Yafai could be back on that same date and we're looking forward to having him back after that arm injury. He was absolutely flying and will have one fight to ease him back in before he's slung into the mix.

We're in a great position and they are talking about December 7 for Stevenson v Bellew, and if that's the case I'd like to give him a 10-rounder on September 21 if his team want that.
Eddie Hearn

Stalker will be in an eight-rounder at the same time and I'd like to get him an area title before the year is out. Cardle has won an area title already and will be back on the Ricky Burns card in Scotland in September, and then in October will be defending that title with the English belt on the horizon.

Rees went on holiday after the Crolla fight and his initial reaction was that he wasn't sure what he was going to do. My gut feeling is that he'll fight again, but when you've boxed at the level he has it's difficult to come back at a lower level for less money. But he loves being in the gym and fighting and he'd be bored out of his head. He just wasn't on his game at all and he's now got two losses, but we've got plenty of opportunities for Gavin if he wants to fight. The lightweight division is red-hot right now, so it's up to him.

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