Beterbiev vs. Smith: Arum Fires Back at Hearn, Defends Beterbiev Amid Testing Controversy
Promoter Bob Arum has launched a scathing attack on Eddie Hearn, defending Artur Beterbiev amidst controversy surrounding atypical test results for his upcoming title defense against Callum Smith.
In a recent interview, Arum blasted Hearn for making an “issue” out of Beterbiev’s test results, stating that Hearn should be “ashamed of himself.” Arum clarified that the atypical test result was later proven to be a result of hormones naturally produced by Beterbiev’s own body.
Arum, the CEO of Top Rank, expressed disapproval of Hearn’s approach, accusing him of attempting to discredit Beterbiev ahead of the fight. The upcoming bout, where Beterbiev will defend his IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight titles against Callum Smith, has been overshadowed by the testing controversy.
Despite Hearn’s efforts, Arum emphasized that subsequent tests showed no prohibitive substances in Beterbiev’s body, and the atypical result should not have been sensationalized. Arum questioned Hearn’s focus, suggesting that he should be concerned about Smith’s inactivity and opponent choices instead of creating negative publicity.
The controversy has escalated to the point where Hearn was barred from the press conference, a move Arum dismissed, emphasizing that the event is about the fighters, not the promoters. Arum reiterated that VADA, the testing experts, found no issues, and Hearn should consult with Margaret Goodman for clarification.
In response to Hearn’s comments at the press conference, Arum described them as “ridiculous” and “despicable,” urging anyone with doubts to contact Margaret Goodman for an accurate account of the situation. Arum emphasized that the atypical test result, indicating a small trace amount possibly naturally occurring in the body, should not have been blown out of proportion.
Arum concluded by stating that such controversies only tarnish the sport’s image and that Eddie Hearn should be “ashamed of himself” for contributing to the negativity surrounding the upcoming Beterbiev vs. Smith bout.
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