Eddie Hearn used to think he was Sugar Ray Leonard – but discovered he was too posh to be a champ!
Hearn this weekend promotes the David Haye v Tony Bellew grudge fight live on Sky Sports Box Office, but in his teens, he had ambitions to fight.
He had three amateur bouts with Billericay Amateur Boxing Club, won the lot, but ‘Eddie Hills’ decided he didn’t have a future in boxing.
“They introduced me as ‘Eddie Hills’ and I was devastated,” said Hearn.
“I told my dad and I found out it was all his idea. He thought if they knew who I was, they would really put it on me and take liberties.
“I had some skills, I fancied myself a bit, I thought I was Sugar Ray Leonard, but you can’t be a fighter if you grow up in a nice house and go to public school.
“The other lads were much tougher than me.
I remember seeing one of my opponents in the changing room before we boxed and telling my dad: ‘Great, I’ve got the fat kid.’
“But he almost took my head off.”
Hearn says he had two spells at the club – and remembers the moment he decided to walk away.
“When I was 15, they put me in to spar a lad of 18 or 19 and he gave me a pasting,” he said. “I was miles behind him – and he wasn’t a world beater. I don’t think I went back after that.”