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Eddie Hearn targets Manny Pacquiao for DAZN shows

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Leading British promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed he is chasing the signature of the out of contract Manny Pacquiao 60-7-2 (39) on behalf of sports streaming service DAZN, who he partnered with earlier this year in a deal thought to be worth as much as USD $1 billion over eight years.

Pacquiao, who bounced back from his points defeat to Jeff Horn last year with a seven round drubbing of Lucas Matthysse on a self-promoted card in Malaysia last month, has been insisting since March that his long-term contract with American promoter Top Rank has expired.

“I think Manny Pacquiao is a huge name,” Hearn told Sporting News. “He’s undoubtedly towards the end of his career, but still a huge name. We’re talking with him.

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“He wants an awful lot of money as you would expect Manny Pacquiao to want and the right fights have to be there. I think one of his main interests is to fight outside of the U.S. That doesn’t fit as well for us, away from DAZN.”

DAZN has invested heavily with the British promoter, who has promised to bring the streaming service 16 cards a year from the US, with an additional 16 shows to be held in the UK. It’s a big number of cards for any promoter to put on, but Hearn is confident that he has the talent at hand to make for some intriguing match-ups with the 39-year-old former pound-for-pound king.

“But there are fights: Amir Khan, Jessie Vargas, Kell Brook, that we could certainly put on,” Hearn continued.

“We’re talking with Manny Pacquiao. Whether it goes anywhere, we’ll see. But we’re certainly interested to continue those talks.”

Earlier this week Hearn held a media conference at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago to officially announce his first card stateside aptly named “Worlds Collide”. The card will take place at the same venue on October 6 and will feature two world title fights with Daniel Roman defending his WBA super bantamweight title against Gavin McDonnell and Artur Beterbiev putting his IBF light heavyweight strap on the line against Callum Johnson. Also on the card former welterweight world titleholder Jessie Vargas meets Thomas Dulorme while heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller has been matched with Tomasz Adamek.

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