Inside the business of sports promotion
Nora chats with Eddie Hearn, the chairman of Matchroom Sport, a company that currently promotes 10 sports globally, in addition to boxing. What began as a family business, Matchroom now has an estimated valuation of over $800 million. Eddie explains why storytelling is at the core of his business, and why he believes that “sales is a transfer of emotion.” Source for the game: Atlas Obscura’s 18 Obscure Sports That Are Well Worth Rooting For. For more info on our presenting sponsor, check out realvision.com/businesscasual.
Host: Nora Ali
Producer: Olivia Meade
Video Editor: Sebastian Vega
Production, Mixing & Sound Design: Daniel Markus
Fact Checker: Kate Brandt
Senior Producer: Katherine Milsop
VP, Head of Multimedia: Sarah Singer
Full transcripts for all Business Casual episodes available at https://businesscasual.fm
Nora Ali: From Morning Brew, this is Business Casual, bringing you convos with people you know and some you may not know yet, to make business less intimidating. Because money talks, but it does not have to be dull. I'm your host, Nora Ali. Now let's get down to business. Fun fact: There was a time when yours truly was an amateur boxer. In 2014, I trained for six months to prepare for a boxing match in front of thousands of people to raise money for cancer research. And it was no joke. I trained hard, oftentimes twice a day. I'd wake up at 4:30am to do an intense session with my trainer and to spar with some willing strangers at the boxing gym. And then I'd get to work by 6:30am and then return back to the gym at the end of the day for conditioning, hitting the speed bag, jump roping, and some more sparring.
And I bring all this up because I can personally confirm, and as we discussed in this episode, that boxing is life-changing mentally, physically, emotionally, which also means that it can be pretty wallet-changing for those who go deep into the business of boxing. And today we are talking to one such boxing businessman, and that is Eddie Hearn. He's one of the world's most illustrious sports promoters, best known for being a promoter within the sport of boxing. And you might not care about boxing specifically, but this conversation applies to anyone who is building a business or building a brand, because what Eddie does best is tell stories, a requirement to get people to tune into boxing matches.
And he has to consistently figure out how to get audiences emotionally invested enough to spend money to watch two people fight. What did the fighters have to overcome to get here? Why is this the rivalry of the century? Why does the underdog deserve to win? As Eddie puts it, "sales is a transfer of emotion." If you want to sell or market nearly anything, you have to tell a story that gets people as excited and emotionally charged as you are (or appear to be) about the product or service that you're selling. Eddie Hearn is a chairman of Matchroom Sport, a company that currently promotes 10 sports globally, and that includes boxing.
What began as the family business, Matchroom now has an estimated valuation of over $800 million—that is, according to Sky News. And as he tells it, one of the amazing things about boxing, which can be wildly lucrative if done right, is that there are really no barriers to entry. Almost anyone can become a fighter, and he thinks the lack of gatekeeping also applies to the business side. That is, as long as you can keep your budgets and your finances straight, something that he mentioned to me is lacking for some less successful folks in the industry. We'll get to all of that, and how Eddie feels about being memefied on Twitter and TikTok, after the break. Eddie, hello and welcome to Business Casual.
Eddie Hearn: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.
Nora Ali: So this is obviously a business podcast, not a boxing podcast, so we're going to have to do a bit of a primer for the boxing industry, and I'm really excited to get into it. I'm clearly not a boxer, but Eddie, I did fight in a charity boxing match years ago.
Eddie Hearn: Really? Well done.
Nora Ali: I trained for six months. It was the best shape I've ever been in my life. I raised money for cancer research, got whacked in the face many times. So I understand how much it can change your life, even if you do it for a few months.
Eddie Hearn: Good, good.
Nora Ali: So I love it.
Eddie Hearn: You must have got the boxing bug, as everybody does.
Nora Ali: Yeah, you become kind of obsessed because it's this mental challenge. There's a lot of rhythm to it. I loved it so much. I recommend everyone try it out at least once. Okay Eddie, before we get into the bulk of the conversation, I'd love to start with an icebreaker, and this is for a segment called OG Occupations. So Eddie, what was your very first job that you've ever held? Your first occupation?
Eddie Hearn: Okay. So my first job was selling double glazing windows.
Nora Ali: What is a double glazing window?
Eddie Hearn: Right. So double glazing windows is basically the thick windows. It's when life turned from those thin, shaky windows in houses to the solid stuff, you know, to the wood, the aluminium, the UV PVC, and it was telesales. So I come from a sort of family of salesmen, if you like, and basically my job was to convince people in their homes. You'd phone their landline back then, obviously, away from mobile phones, they would pick up the phone at home in the middle of a TV show or in the middle of dinner, and they would hear me trying to convince them to get one of our sales reps to drive round there that week and give them a quote for their windows at home.
Nora Ali: Oh my gosh.
Eddie Hearn: It is without doubt the hardest form of selling, telesales. I mean you have to have the thickest skin, where people will tell you all kinds of unpleasantries in their response to get you off the phone. But I was 15 at the time, and it was good. If you can sell on the phone, it's a really, really tough skill to master.
Nora Ali: Yeah. Oh, for sure.
Eddie Hearn: And doing it in person is a lot easier.
Nora Ali: What was your secret? What made you good at it?
Eddie Hearn: Chat. I mean, it was amazing. It was like, you think of Wolf of Wall Street, but it was like that, but for selling windows, right?
Nora Ali: You were the Jordan Belfort of selling windows.
Eddie Hearn: It was, yeah. It was like you go into this back room and everyone...You imagine being 15. I used to go after school, so I'd do the 6:00pm to 8:00pm slot, right? Because they thought that that's when we catch people at home.
Nora Ali: But why, though? Because everyone's having dinner, everyone's annoyed by that.
Eddie Hearn: Never. People are back home from work and stuff like that.
Nora Ali: Yeah.
Eddie Hearn: And it was like, they'd give you a phone book, so it's a directory of all the names in the area with all their numbers. And you'd walk in and they'd go, "Eddie, right. Tonight you are on M." And I'd just open the book to M and go through every M. But on the blackboard, on the whiteboard, so on the wall, there would just be answers to objections. So it might be objection number one: "I don't own this house, I just rent it." So you might say, "Well, can I ask you what the name of the landlord is or how long you're going to be there?" Or all the way down to, "I'm sorry, my partner just passed away." It was like, "I'm really sorry to hear that, and our thoughts at whether sill windows are with you. But what's the situation with your windows?" It was, yeah, a real...and everyone was just sitting there. You can imagine the kind of people that were doing that full-time for a living. People were just smoking cigarettes. They'd have big packets of crisps and chips and...Oh yeah, it was an unpleasant place, but I enjoyed it. I'd like to have another go. I'd like to try it again.
Nora Ali: It's not too late to do it again. And I'm sure those skills have helped you tremendously in your career now. So I want to talk about what it means and what it takes to be a boxing promoter. A profile in GQ described you as, quote, "The mastermind behind some of the biggest boxing matches in the world." What does that mean? What does a boxing promoter actually do?
Eddie Hearn: I think when you're creating any event, you're telling a story, you're building a narrative about why someone should become emotionally invested in this night, okay? And that investment comes from a very early moment, from when you announce the event—might be eight, ten weeks out—to telling the story throughout the buildup of the fighters, of the fight, why this fight is important, why you should be emotionally invested in this fighter or that fighter. Create an interest and hype. You're selling tickets, you're building up to that moment. And it doesn't really matter if it's boxing or if it's football or if it's a music concert or a comedy show. You're driving interest to that event. You need people ultimately to put their hand in their pocket and put their faith in you as a promoter to attend this event. And narrative is key. That is the key to this event. And obviously building the profile. And when you have high-profile people involved...we've got Canelo Alvarez fighting Gennadiy Golovkin at Las Vegas in T-Mobile. You get nights like that. Again, you still create the narrative, but the narratives there is, two legends of the sport. Two weeks ago we were doing Anthony Joshua against Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia, the Heavyweight World Championships, but we do 40 shows here. Some require much harder work and harder sales than other, but all create narrative in terms of creating the hype and interest around the event.
Nora Ali: Yeah. And I think that's applicable to really anyone who's building a company, building a brand, building a business. There's so much more storytelling required now because of social media, and because of the discernment of consumers and choosing brands because of who's in charge or because of the founders. So when you are coming up with the narrative for a particular fight, what is the process? Say it's not two legends, say the story does not write itself. How do you extract the best story to really sell that fight?
Eddie Hearn: Boxing is a fascinating sport where every fighter has a story, and mostly it's a compelling story. They all come from more humble beginnings. They come from tough areas. They have stories of struggle, they have moments of despair. They have dreams that have been shattered along the way, and everybody in life, regardless of their background, has a story to tell. And for me, this almost goes back to the double glazing. This is selling, okay? So it doesn't matter whether I'm selling TV rights, I'm selling sponsorship or I'm selling you the story, I'm still selling. And sales has been rightly described as a transfer of emotion.
So when I'm emotionally invested in a story or an event, it's so much easier for you to become invested in that story through my speech, and through my words, and through my storytelling, because ultimately that is what is going to create the size of the event. Yes, key talent with high profile versus strong storytelling, but every fighter has a story. So sometimes the story is the fight. You know how these two guys have got...if you're pulling out Canelo Alvarez against Gennadiy Golovkin, this is the third time they've fought. The first time was a draw. It was quite controversial. The second time Canelo Alvarez got the victory. It was still a very close fight. This time, it's the last chance for Gennadiy Golovkin.
You've got one guy who, in Canelo Alvarez, who used to sell ice popsicles on the streets of Guadalajara. And you've got another guy in Gennadiy Golovkin that comes from the tough streets of Kazakhstan. Two very different characters, but two incredible individuals. And content now is the key to the storytelling. It's okay for me to stand before the media and our livestreams, before press conferences, telling you the story and why you should buy a ticket for this event. But ultimately the content that is created around the storytelling is key. We need to create content that shows you the struggle and the journey of Canelo Alvarez from the streets of Guadalajara. This young guy who has ginger hair, red hair, is completely unique from where he came from. They call him Canelo, which means cinnamon. And that's what he was called as a kid. He was a skinny kid with ginger red hair growing up on the streets of Guadalajara. He became one of the greatest fighters of our generation, and became a hero in Mexico and the undisputed champion. And so telling a story of the rivalry is something, but to engage the emotions of a fan into the journey on their career is about making them understand the struggles that they've been through and the greatness that they've achieved. So for me telling that story, of course, it is through speech, through me, but mostly these days, the ability to create shoulder programming, content across social media, that is how you're going to get the fan engaged in the career of that fighter, but also the event itself.
Nora Ali: I want to repeat something you said. You said sales equals a transfer of emotion. Sales is a transfer of emotion. I don't think I've really heard it phrased like that before. So it's clear that you're very good at storytelling yourself. I'm invested in these fighters now after hearing you talk about them. But to your point about creating content on social media and creating marketing materials, how do you translate that passion into digital materials when it's not necessarily just your voice that is telling the story?
Eddie Hearn: Well, it is quality of production. It's quality of editing. We invest incredibly in our behind-the-scenes footage, our videography. Telling that story through being there, watching the fighters, the struggle, the training, the hard sparring sessions, the hard runs, the ice baths, the injuries. Telling the story digitally can be through still images, and sometimes photography can be so powerful. And all of those different genres are elements that we invest in heavily. So we have the best still photography in boxing. We have the best editors, we have the best videographers. And that is really an area of our business where we have made such a huge investment globally, because we are so lucky to have social media.
My dad is a Hall of Fame boxing promoter, and he sometimes says to me, "You don't realize how lucky you are." Now we have to build the following. And I have over, I don't know, 1.2 million followers on my social media. But you can engage with those fans at any moment you want, and tell them the story of a fight or tell them the announcement of a fight, or drive ticket sales to that fight, or viewing figures or subscribers or pay per views. "Back when I was promoting, we used to have to give out leaflets to people. When you think about it, it's crazy," he said. "But the downside of what you do now is you're so much more accountable. These people have the ability to let you know their view or thoughts about you or about the event or the product that you've just put on, which is good and bad."
And that goes back to having the thick skin of the telesales, because when I do a show now, he says, "I used to do a show and I'd just go for something to eat, and I'd go, 'That was a great show.'" Now I do a show and I'm listening to all those followers compliment me, or mostly give me stick, or tell 'em they want their money back or they don't agree with this decision or that decision. But I've made a very conscious decision over the years to not switch off from that world. It's very easy to build that audience, and on the way up you get all this support from that audience, because it used to be me against the industry. Now, not sounding arrogant, but I almost am the industry. And that really changes the popularity from fans, because on the way up, when you're trying to change the game, you're trying to turn things over, you're trying to freshen things up, the support is incredible. But when they feel like you're too powerful, that's when the criticism comes. But we only got here because we engaged with those fans in the process. So I'm not the guy to just go, "Oh, you know what? I don't like the criticism. I don't take the criticism. Let's just turn that off. I don't want it to infiltrate me." We have to keep engaging with that audience. And social media is a blessing, really. I mean, it's bad on so many levels, especially for the younger generation, but for us as a business, it's a blessing, especially when we're able to create content that we are really passionate about and let the world watch that content, and not rely on broadcasters to do so.
Nora Ali: It gives you so much control yourself to be able to engage, not have to rely on the broadcasters.
Eddie Hearn: Yeah, totally. There's no schedule, there's no viewing time, there's no slots required. We don't have to sell the concept into a broadcaster. We can do more numbers. I can put a reel out about a fight, and do a 1.5 million audience in 24 hours. What broadcaster can give me that ability? So these platforms are so powerful if used in the right way and if used with the right content.
Nora Ali: So much to get to. We are going to take a very quick break. More with Eddie when we come back. So Eddie, let's get back to the basics a little bit for how the industry of boxing even makes money. So talk to me about where the revenue's coming from. Obviously there's ticket sales, people are tuning in, there's merch. Just what is holistically the revenue streams look like in boxing?
Eddie Hearn: The bulk of that revenue will come from the broadcaster. So depending on who your broadcaster is, your domestic TV sales being the sales from the country that you are staging a show in, your international TV syndication as well in terms of your global rights sales, sponsorship for the event, and the commercial revenue around it. Ticket sales, merchandise. Now moving into the world of NFTs and other smaller outlets as well, but that's really the key sales. TV sales and ticket sales are going to make up probably between 60% and 80% of your revenue streams for a boxing event. So your broadcaster is key in so many different ways. Key to driving the audience and the size of the audience, key to also helping you drive the promotion of the event, and ticket sales as well. So important and such an integral part, especially when you're talking about the likes of Canelo Alvarez against Triple G. It's at the T-Mobile, can carry a gate of $25–$26 million dollars just on the gate for 18,000 people. So there's a lot of work that goes into the science side of that planning in terms of driving, again, the pricing. Of course, dynamic pricing, set pricing, hospitality. They're the key revenue factors.
Interesting the comment you made about making money in the boxing industry, because one of the amazing things about boxing is there are no barriers to enter, and that actually is why it's such a working class, blue-collar sport because anyone can become a fighter, ultimately. But also that applies in the business sense, which is incredibly frustrating at the same time, because I spend a lot of time negotiating with representatives of fighters that have just popped up. Might be someone, a friend of a fighter that used to run a car dealership, is now advising this fighter on how his career should be handled. So boxing does have that Wild West element to it as well, but at the same time it's so glamorous and so attractive to be a part of that you also get people with a lot of money that want to roll the dice in boxing. So when you're trying to do something right and pay the right money for fights, the right commercial value for fights, but when people are coming in without trying to make money or without trying to run the business correctly, it's very challenging to overcome them in the short term.
Nora Ali: I don't want you to give away your secrets, but if you were a new entrant, you wanted to get into the boxing industry, well, first of all, what are the different ways, besides being a fighter, that you can get involved? And B, how would you approach it to make sure you do have a plan, you are consistent, and you're not just going to fizzle out after dabbling for a little bit?
Eddie Hearn: So in terms of the industry, I mean, there's so many different things you can do in boxing. You can become a promoter, you can become a manager, you can be an advisor, you could be a trainer, you could be a strength and conditioning coach, you could be a commentator. I mean, there's so many different ways to enter the boxing world. In terms of advice to new people wanting to start the business, the same as any business. Budgeting, financial planning. I mean, the problem is with most people is everybody has big dreams, everybody has long-term goals, but no one's prepared to overcome the short term goals.
So how many times have you heard someone say, "Yeah, I'm going to do this and I'm going to start this." And three months later they couldn't do it, because they're just looking up here. They didn't look at the day-to-day problems that exist to reach the medium- and long-term goals. So in boxing, too many people are just thinking about, "How do I do Canelo against Triple G?" When I came into boxing 12 years ago, I wasn't doing the World Heavyweight Championship, I wasn't doing Canelo, Triple G. I was doing a thousand people at the local sports hall. But you learn the modeling, you learn the business, but nothing changes in the terms of how we plan an event.
The first thing I will ever do is put a budget together with our team. Show me how this show looks, because, and again, going back to the Wild West of the industry, I think probably 10% of the industry does that. How bizarre is that? I mean that's the first thing in any business you should build. Anybody should say, whether it's a business owner, whether it's an investor, "Show me the plan, show me the numbers." And that's the key, is you have to be aggressive, but you have to be conservative in your plan, because you can talk yourself into any numbers. So your budgeting and planning becomes a lot easier when you understand the numbers and understand the industry.
Nora Ali: I love this. You're my kind of guy, a numbers guy. Well, it's really helped you in striking deals. For example, in 2018, Matchroom entered into this $1 billion broadcast deal with DAZN, the streaming service. So that deal was to broadcast matches in the US. How did that come to be? And can you just contextualize how big of a deal a $1 billion broadcast deal is?
Eddie Hearn: It was an eight-year deal, one billion dollars, which was by far the biggest deal in the sport's history. And as a UK promoter, we've always had a global vision. I look at brands like UFC and WWE, and they kind of set the mold of where we want to be. And I looked at those brands a while ago, and I looked at the figureheads for those brands at the time, Dana White and Vince McMahon, and felt like I had to create my own brand and my own image within boxing, because you can't just rely on the talent to sell the brand and sell the shows and the product. So we worked really hard to build my brand and my profile, my social media numbers, so that I could be the voice for boxing here in the UK.
But my vision was always global. And to become a global brand and to take control of the global boxing industry, you have to dominate America or you have to be extremely powerful in America. So for a long time we were doing smaller shows with HBO and Showtime, but we needed a long-term TV partner. We go back to that conversation about the budget and the income and the revenue stream. TV rights is key, and you cannot create significant moments, significant events, without a powerful broadcast partner. So DAZN, a streaming platform that have become very aggressive globally with a number of key rights for major sports around the world, wanted to enter the US market, and they wanted to do it via boxing.
Luckily for us, they believed that we were the right partner for them to invigorate the sport in the US to be aggressive, to be fresh. Obviously they're a streaming platform, they needed a younger business that was dynamic, and we won that deal in America, and it was huge for us, because since then we've also done a deal with DAZN in the UK. We also now distribute major events in Mexico, Italy, Spain, Australia, the Middle East as well. And it's really helped our global vision. DAZN is a global platform now for boxing, and it enables us to have one hat on, because sometimes when you're promoting a show, you could have 40 or 50 broadcast partners, some could be paying $10 million, some could be paying a thousand dollars. But with DAZN we can go with one hat and a global product where you can watch the sport. Wherever you are in the world, you can stream it live on DAZN, and it's going to become more and more powerful. But certainly the most successful element of that deal was the US deal, which took us to really the forefront of the global industry by becoming a dominant player in the US market.
Nora Ali: All right. Another quick break. More with Eddie When we come back. Eddie, I want to go back to some of the branding aspect of both you and the sport of boxing. You have become a celebrity yourself, unintentionally or not. You were mentioning you have lots of followers. There's also an account on Twitter called No Context Hearn, which is so funny. The description reads, "Eddie Hearn clips tweeted without context. Parody."
Eddie Hearn clips: "...thinking about me for? It's very cute. I said to him, "It's very cute that you are thinking about me, sweet cheeks. I'll see you soon." "My back's fucked. I'm a little bit on the tubby side, but I'm handsome."
Nora Ali: There's like 375,000 followers. That's incredible. What do you think about these kinds of meme accounts and how you have been memefied in some ways? Does this help the business? Does it hurt the business? Does it tickle you?
Eddie Hearn: Yeah. I think another key to life is never take yourself too seriously. You have to have the ability to smile and laugh, and sometimes at yourself. So I live in a world where a lot of my life is documented, because if I'm at press conferences or weigh-ins or fights, I'm doing 20 or 30 interviews a day. And sometimes I'm hyped, sometimes I'm tired, sometimes I'm aggravated, sometimes I'm feeling mischievous. So I'm always performing. And it was about three or four years ago, I got an email from a guy saying, "Look, my name's Andy. I work for the NHS," which is the health system here in the UK. "And I follow a lot of your interviews, and I'd like to create a no context account, which is basically you saying stuff that could be used for other funny memes." And I'm like...
Nora Ali: Wait. I love that they asked you. They asked permission?
Eddie Hearn: Yeah. And he was like, "Would you mind?" And I was like, "Firstly, how big is this going to be? Who's going to be interested in that? And two, sounds quite funny." So I was like, "Crack on, Andy." Anyway, next thing you know, I started seeing this account and it went from a thousand to 5,000 to 10,000 to 50,000, and it was everywhere. And celebrities were using them all the time. Sports stars, film stars were using my memes. And I'm like, "90% of these people don't know who I am." Which, that's the key, because in boxing, everybody knows who I am. But how do we grow the sport beyond that audience into the casual audience? And if it takes me being memefied to become relevant in that casual market, fantastic. So now I go in now to places and the younger generation, they call me the Instagram guy. So I went somewhere the other day and these people said, "Oh, are you that...?" And I'm going, "Yeah, boxing promoter." And they go, "No, no, you're the Instagram guy. You do funny memes."
Nora Ali: You're the meme.
Eddie Hearn: I'm like, "Oh my god." But I have no shame. So if that's what it takes, that's what it takes.
Nora Ali: That's incredible.
Eddie Hearn: He came to me, that Andy, and he said, "Look, things are really taking off." I think he had about a quarter of a million followers or something. He said, "Christmas is coming. Do you mind if I create merchandise like mugs and T-shirts with your quotes on?" And I was like, "It's one thing doing a Twitter account, but making money off my quotes...but at the same time, I can't really stop you." So I just said to the guy, "Listen, just give 25% of the profit to the local children's hospice." And he said, "No problem." Anyway, he sent in a check for like 10,000 pounds. So he must be doing really well.
Nora Ali: That's amazing.
Eddie Hearn: It's good fun. But genuinely, it has helped grow my profile, because shows like this or shows...do a lot of stuff with GQ and stuff like that, that's not the main reason, but that's one of the reasons is just it brings out my character a little bit, those memes. You can see my personality a little bit in those, and I think it's good fun.
Nora Ali: I agree. And speaking of bringing the sport of boxing more mainstream, you have thoughts, I know, on Jake Paul, who's a YouTuber who has become a boxer, he has a winning record, controversial figure in many ways. And I've heard that you are kind of bullish on Jake Paul, and maybe he's been good for this sport. What are your thoughts overall on his involvement?
Eddie Hearn: Yeah. I mean, I promoted Jake Paul's debut. I co-promoted the Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano all-female fight recently where we sold out Madison Square Garden together. I also did KSI against Logan Paul at the Staples Center in LA. And I've seen firsthand the power of these individuals, and people don't necessarily understand. These guys are very smart, very smart. I mean they are content creators, they understand their audience, they drive huge numbers. And again, going back to bringing a new audience into the sport, we have to keep evolving. If you stay intrinsic and say, "No, we are boxing. We've got our hardcore fans and no one's allowed in and we don't want these..." Because some of those hardcore audience don't want new fans in the sport. But we all know the only way we're going to grow the sport is to bring new fans into the sport. And the numbers that I saw around those events were incredible. It's difficult because I am that boxing world. I'm the hardcore fight fan, and it's hard to watch because some of it is really bad, but it is light entertainment. And I keep saying to fight fans, "It's not boxing." Jake Paul's a little bit different. He's actually taking things seriously, fighting some combat guys. But the YouTube stuff, it's not boxing, it's just entertainment. But if we can bring that audience into boxing, educate them while they're there, and make them fall in love in the process, then it will all be worthwhile. Just like you said earlier about, "I had a white-collar fight. I started boxing six months," you touched boxing, you understood it, you fell in love and you became a fan. And that's all it takes, really.
I really believe that it's the greatest sport in the world, and once you enter it, once you watch it, once you feel it, you're in. So if that's what it takes to get those people into boxing or to experience or to potentially feel it, then I'm all for it. Jake Paul believes he's going to be a world champion and that he's going to beat Canelo Alvarez. And I have arguments with him all the time. I said, "Jake, you're mad, you're mad. You can't." He really didn't like it. We did a big interview and I said, "You're an average fighter." And he's like, "I'm not average." I said, "That's a compliment. That's a compliment." At 26 or 27 years old, you don't just become a world champion.
Nora Ali: Right.
Eddie Hearn: These kids have been fighting since they were five.
Nora Ali: Yeah.
Eddie Hearn: He's like, "No, I'm different. I'm different." I said, "Oh man."
Nora Ali: Wow. Wow.
Eddie Hearn: Very bright guy. Good for the sport. And if we can bring those new eyeballs, no problem for me.
Nora Ali: For sure. Well Eddie, this has been so fun. We have a couple fun quick things before we let you go. We have a segment called Shoot Your Shot. So this is where you tell me your moonshot idea. This is your wildest ambition, your biggest dream. It could be professional, personal. Eddie, this is your chance to shoot your shot.
Eddie Hearn: This is going to be very relevant one day, because I'm about to tell you something. When I do things, generally they work, right?
Nora Ali: Yeah. Truly.
Eddie Hearn: And the ones that don't work, you'll never hear about anyway, right? So recently I have lost quite a lot of weight. I've forgotten the word, but I've been having a lot of ice baths.
Nora Ali: Okay. Okay.
Eddie Hearn: So I don't know if you've ever watched Wim Hof. Okay, so check out Wim Hof on Instagram. This guy basically believes that the cold water will change your life forever.
Wim Hof: The cold trains your immune system to be boosted. And that's what you need to get no flu, no cold, no inflammation, depression, all that is not going to happen. How that physiologically works is...
Nora Ali: Okay.
Eddie Hearn: So the next big industry now, and the word that I was looking for, which I couldn't believe I couldn't remember: recovery, right? Because I work at such a pace and with so much intensity where, to the point where people will say to me, "If you don't slow down, you are going to be in big trouble." So about a year ago, I took it upon myself to become really fit and to actually concentrate and work on my recovery, my sleep, and my well-being, because I felt...I put on weight, I was feeling sluggish, I'm traveling every week. Anyway, so recovery centers, I am going to open recovery centers around the world. I cannot believe...because every morning I will have an ice bath.
Nora Ali: Every morning?
Eddie Hearn: I mean, if I'm on a plane, obviously I can't. These ice baths have so many benefits in terms of metabolism, mental well-being, inflammation. If anyone's listening to this—and you included, Nora—try cold water therapy.
Nora Ali: Wow.
Eddie Hearn: I'm telling you now, it will take your mind to another place. I know this is going on a little bit, but bear with me, Nora. The movement in the UK and in the US is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. So perhaps the original question, which is, one day soon, I will own the biggest recovery centers globally around the world.
Nora Ali: I believe in you, Eddie.
Eddie Hearn: If I don't, just delete this, but if it does actually ever happen, can we play this across my Instagram?
Nora Ali: Yes. You said it here first?
Eddie Hearn: Yeah.
Nora Ali: Is this the first time you're putting this into the world?
Eddie Hearn: First time I ever put it out there, ever. Genuine.
Nora Ali: Amazing.
Eddie Hearn: Okay.
Nora Ali: We're saving this. I'm also thinking about where I can procure a lot of ice, because I'm literally going to do this in my bathtub.
Eddie Hearn: Honestly, try it.
Nora Ali: I will. I jumped into a frozen lake in Minnesota once, so it was negative 16 degrees, and I think it did change me, but that was like for a split second.
Eddie Hearn: No, you got to immerse yourself, get your breathing right.
Nora Ali: Immerse, yeah. Okay.
Eddie Hearn: Do you work out?
Nora Ali: Yeah.
Eddie Hearn: If you can get an infrared sauna, do the ice bath. Game changer.
Nora Ali: Wow. Okay. It's on my to-do list. Okay, very last thing. It's time to play Bullish or Bearish, Obscure Sports Edition. So this is from a list from Atlas Obscura. We'll link it in the show notes. But basically I'm going to give you three obscure sports, and you have to tell me if you're bullish, if you're into it, or if you're bearish, you're not into it. Starting with ice yachting. So this is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Sailboats race very quickly across vast fields of ice. According to The World Sailing Show, "capable of more than four times the wind speed, a DN ice yacht can reach 100 kilometers per hour or 60 miles per hour. And in a fleet of 50 boats, the closing speeds are both alarming and intoxicating." Are you bullish on this? And by that I guess I mean, would you try it out? How do you feel about ice yachting?
Eddie Hearn: Or would we sell it? I mean...
Nora Ali: Oh, would you sell it? Yeah.
Eddie Hearn: We're always looking at new sports. I'm writing these down as you speak. So you are just on the ice, right? You're not in the water. So effectively...
Nora Ali: You're right on top of the ice. You're like skimming across it.
Eddie Hearn: It's yacht ice skating.
Nora Ali: Yes.
Eddie Hearn: That's basically what it is, yeah.
Nora Ali: Yes.
Eddie Hearn: Okay. I'll watch it. I'd be interested to watch it. Yeah, I mean I think anything that has an element of danger and risk, like Formula One, you want to see a few incidents along the way.
Nora Ali: Yes.
Eddie Hearn: So yeah, I'd give that a little look.
Nora Ali: I recommend you YouTube it because it looks very risky and very scary. I think you'd like it. Okay, next up. Underwater rugby. It's similar to land rugby. It involves two teams in a pool seeking to gain control of a slightly negatively buoyant ball and passing it into a heavy metal bucket at the bottom of the pool. So mind you, they're submerged. This is all happening underwater. Bullish or bearish?
Eddie Hearn: Bearish. I mean, what is that? I mean, listen, rugby was kind of more or less created in this country that I come from. Playing underwater, ridiculous. I mean, the worst idea ever. And also, it gets a bit violent. You know, when you're a kid and you take part in a water polo around the pool that you go to, you get in. Next thing everyone's grabbing the ball, having a fight. Someone's got long nails.
Nora Ali: Yeah.
Eddie Hearn: You just think, "What's that?" And yeah, I think, let's get rid of that one. Stick to the yachting.
Nora Ali: I agree. It looks actually horrid. I watched videos of it, and looks like my worst nightmare. Okay, last one is broomball. This is from Atlas Obscura. Quote, "Hockey wasn't awkward enough, so some Canadian question mark genius invented broomball. It's essentially hockey, but instead of a puck, it's a ball, and instead of a hockey stick, you use a broom, and instead of wearing skates, you run around on ice in street shoes." Bullish or bearish?
Eddie Hearn: I mean, that can only be something that is created by Americans. Or is it Canadians?
Nora Ali: Is it Canadians? I don't know. Okay. Let's see.
Eddie Hearn: I mean, that's ridiculous.
Nora Ali: Who invented broomball?
Eddie Hearn: I mean...maybe it was Canada.
Nora Ali: Canada. Take that back about Americans.
Eddie Hearn: You know, one of the most offensive things, I guess, you could say to an American or Canadian is, "Same place." But us Brits are like, that's what we think. We think that Canadians and Americans are the same because they're right next to each other. I mean, they're exactly....
Nora Ali: It's so funny.
Eddie Hearn: We couldn't get further away from the truth. But yeah, I guess, nah, I'm still up there on the yachting and ice skating.
Nora Ali: Okay. Yachting, you're bullish. You're bearish on the others. So broomball, I have to admit I have played it many times, because I'm from Minnesota, which is right next to Canada, and it was a mandatory winter sport and gym class. My little sister got whacked in the face so hard with the broomball because...it's this hard broom. She gets whacked in the face. Her lips were puffed up. It was so funny and so sad. But it's not safe. It's horrible. I'm also bearish on that. Okay, wonderful. So ice yachting wins. And Eddie, this has been such a lovely conversation. Thank you so much for teaching us about boxing and for being on Business Casual. Appreciate it.
Eddie Hearn: Thanks for having me, Nora.
Nora Ali: This is Business Casual and I'm Nora Ali. You can follow me on Twitter @NoraKAli. And I would love to hear from you. If you have ideas for episodes, comments and thoughts on episodes you loved, fun segment ideas, shoot me a DM and I will do my best to respond. You can also reach the BC team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us. That number is (862) 295-1135. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. And if you like the show, please leave us a rating and a review. It really, really helps us. Business Casual is produced by Katherine Milsop and Olivia Meade. Additional production and sound design and mixing by Daniel Markus. Kate Brandt is our fact checker. Sarah Singer is our VP of multimedia. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and The Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali. Keep it business, and keep it casual.