‘Madison Square Garden? No, Eddie Hearn’s garden.’ Confusion puts Povetkin-Whyte bout in doubt

Easy mistake to make

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Big time has returned to the UK thanks to Eddie Hearn. Recent Saturday nights have featured a feast of fighting entertainment for punters, with the biggest bout of the series still to come this weekend, featuring Russia’s Alexander Povetkin against Brit Dillian Whyte – and all from the confines of Eddie Hearn’s backyard! 

Well, it’s the Matchroom promotions headquarters now, but it used to be Eddie’s garden when he was a kid.

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But the ambitious plans to stage the Povetkin-Whyte bout despite public health restrictions almost fell to pieces in recent weeks due to confusion about the venue, as emails supplied to Paddy Power News exclusively reveal.

It has emerged that, as arrangements were made for accommodation and training prior to the fight by the Russian’s representatives, his team had already booked flights, lodgings and sparring partners for a fight in Madison Square – rather than Eddie Hearn’s – Garden.

Alexander-Povetkin-v-Anthony-Joshua

“You said in our discussions this would take place in THE GARDEN!,” fumed an irate agent on Povetkin’s behalf when the mix-up was uncovered.

“No, I said the garden – out the back. I’ve got a beautiful marquee booked, there’ll be a bar, a DJ, barbecue. bouncy castle for the kids. It’ll be great, trust me Vlad.”

“Just imagine the classiest wedding you’ve ever been to – but with fewer sweaty bald blokes swinging punches.”

But the 40-year-old former WBA heavyweight champion remained unconvinced by Hearn’s promises of “a few bevvies and a slap-up meal” to sustain him during his fight preparations.

“We are not here for what you would call a ‘p*ss-up’ in a beer garden. We need a gym, sparring ring and suitable accommodation,” the Russian is reported to have said.

But Hearn assured Povetkin’s representatives that these would all be taken care of on-site.

“It’s all sorted mate. I’ve a set of weights in the basement, and my dad’s just talking to Andy Fordham from the darts about a second-hand running machine. Don’t worry about it.”

“There’s a heavy-bag arriving from SportsDirect in the morning, we’ll have it hooked up in the downstairs lav by the afternoon. And there’s a fold-out sofa in the office, Alex can kip there. It’s springy enough to double as a sparring ring if he needs it.”

“It’s all good mate. Trust me.”

Boxing – Tony Bellew vs David Haye – O2 Arena, London, Britain – May 5, 2018 Tony Bellew celebrates with promoter Eddie Hearn after winning his fight against David Haye Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

However, the heavyweight insisted that he have his own private facilities, meaning Hearn was forced to book several rooms in a nearby hotel or risk losing his star attraction.

But the promoter has not be discouraged by the challenge of staging these fights in his “manor”, and refused to rule out further events taking place on the green pastures of his childhood home.

“I wish I’d thought of this sooner. Dunno why we’ve been renting out Wembley and the O2 all this time when I had the perfect venue on my own doorstep – literally!”

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“You could play Wimbledon out there, or get those NFL geezers over for a wrestle or whatever it is they do. They’ve a quid or two.”

“I’d even offer up the lawn to the Premier League for a 39th game. I can guarantee a better atmosphere here than down the Arsenal,” Hearn quipped on a video call today, as his pupils dilated into large dollar signs.

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