Eddie Hearn received legal threat from UFC after unseen ‘press conference’

Eddie Hearn has revealed how the UFC sent him a legal letter after hosting a ‘press conference’ between Francis Ngannou and Dillian Whyte.

UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou has openly discussed his plans to compete in boxing and fight heavyweight stars such as Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

WBC interim champion Whyte is not directly managed by Hearn, but the Matchroom boss usually works with him on a one-fight basis.

Hearn revealed how during the first UK lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he was trying to produce content for his ‘Talk the Talk’ show with retired boxer Tony Bellew.

“I’ll tell you a funny story about Francis Ngannou,” Hearn told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “During the pandemic when you did our show, I was doing loads of stuff on Zoom and trying to create content.

The UFC sent Eddie Hearn a legal letter for hosting the 'press conference'
The UFC sent Eddie Hearn a legal letter for hosting the ‘press conference’

“I read that Francis Ngannou wanted to be a boxer, so I got in touch with his team because he had a little bit of beef with Dillian Whyte, nothing major.

“I got in touch with his team and I said ‘let’s do a Zoom, you me and Dillian Whyte, just bored’ they’ve agreed to it. Next thing I’m on a Zoom with Dillian Whyte and Francis Ngannou basically going at it.

“Then word has got to the UFC that I’ve done, ultimately, a press conference to promote a fight but I wasn’t even thinking.”

But when UFC boss Dana White caught wind of the situation, Hearn admitted that he overstepped the mark by holding a call between the two heavyweights.

“Dana messaged me and said ‘what are you doing, you’ve done a press conference with Francis Ngannou and Dillian Whyte’ and I’m like ‘it wasn’t really a press conference, it was a Zoom’,” he continued.

What are your thoughts on Eddie Hearn’s ‘press conference’? Let us know in the comments section below

“Then I got a legal letter from the UFC to say you can’t be putting this out. They were a million per cent right, but at the time I was thinking this is massive.

“I still think Francis Ngannou vs Tyson Fury, Francis Ngannou vs AJ [Joshua] are huge, huge fights.”

Ngannou fought out of his UFC contract last month when he outpointed Ciryl Gane to make the first defence of his heavyweight title.

‘The Predator’ and Fury have repeatedly called out each other for a fight, with ‘The Gypsy King’ even challenging Ngannou to box in 4oz UFC gloves.

Fury will defend his WBC title against Whyte in his next fight, with April 23 being a likely date for the world title clash.

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