Eddie Hearn: I was ‘obnoxious’, and ‘a plonker’

Eddie Hearn says he was “obnoxious” and “a plonker” as a youngster growing up in the slipstream of his wildly successful father Barry.

The Matchroom Boxing supremo talked about his early life in an interview with The Big Issue, and admits he was “disrespectful” and “gobby”.

Eddie, now 41, ditched the chip on his shoulder though and realised the only way to match his father’s achievements was to match his business values.

He said: “There was only one way I could ever become my own person and get my own success, and that was to take what he’s done to completely another level.”

Hearn Jr is now the most successful boxing promoter in the UK, with big-money contracts with Sky Sports and DAZN. His stable includes of course the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

Rocky beginnings

But the road to success in his own right had a rocky beginning, as he honestly recounted.

“My dad started making a lot of money promoting fights around the world, and I was in his slipstream. I was gobby and probably a little bit disrespectful at times,” said Hearn.

“But I felt sort of indestructible. I felt like we were the main family in Essex, and when you’re around successful people like Frank Bruno or Chris Eubank, living that kind of lifestyle, the last thing you want to do is listen to teachers at school.

“I think a good word to use is obnoxious – too much wax in the hair, you know, swarming around trying to get into nightclubs. Not realising that actually, I was a plonker.”

Looking back Hearn is brutally honest about young Eddie, and the aggravation he caused his mother in particular.

“I get all my greatest business qualities from my dad. But I get my greatest qualities from my mum.

“She’s extremely humble. They’re both from council estates in East London, and she really understands the value of money and hard work. And she’s very big on manners.”

The full interview with Eddie Hearn is in this week’s Big Issue.