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In an interview with iFL TV, Hearn aligned his views with one of his boxers (Ramala Ali) in saying that female fighters can't expect equal pay if the commercial value of the fight is not the same.
But Hardy, who was an MMA fighter in Bellator before turning to boxing, accused Hearn of laying the problem at the door of women boxers.
"This is so abusive," said the featherweight on Twitter. "He's literally saying 'girls, this is on you.'
"How F**KING dare he. How many of his men did he give this speech to? Sorry. Won't let this go. F**king gross @EddieHearn do BETTER."
This is so abusive - he's literally saying "girls, this is on you."
How FUCKING dare he. How many of his men did he give this speech to?
Sorry. Won't let this go. Fucking gross @EddieHearn do BETTER. https://t.co/TwfLh3L6yu
- Heather Heat Hardy (@HeatherHardyBox) November 10, 2020
Hardy is one of the highest profile female boxers in America, having amassed 22 wins against just one defeat in her pro career.
The 38-year-old New Yorker understandably feels passionately about the subject of pay in her profession. But in Hearn, she is railing against a promoter who has a show this Saturday at Wembley which is headlined by three women's world championship fights.
Hearn had originally told iFL TV: "Women's pay in boxing: seen a few tweets about that recently and Ramala Ali put a great tweet out today that said, we can't expect equal pay if the commercial value of the fight is not the same.
We cannot expect equal pay without a larger female fan base in boxing. The greater the demand & viewership the small the gap will be. If you're a female sports fan then you have to tune in Nov 14th to an incredible card w/ the legend herself KT headlining on @SkySportsBoxing pic.twitter.com/1hJoCGo75Y- Ramla Ali (@somaliboxer) November 5, 2020
"So please all support this show on November 14th... And no one is doing more for women's boxing than Matchroom. We just have to keep pushing.
"But ultimately, we have to change world championship fights from perhaps the commercial equivalent of a British or a European men's fight and try and give it the same kind of commercial value and credibility as a male fight. And then we can start really moving forward."
Hearn has put unbeaten lightweight world champion Katie Taylor in top-of-the-bill fights, as well as in high-profile spots such as on the undercard of Anthony Joshua bouts. Terri Harper vs Natasha Jonas also headlined one of Hearn's Fight Camp cards in August.
But Jonas later revealed to The Athletic that she couldn't agree on a deal for a rematch after her thrilling draw with Harper, due to the pay on offer.
"You're asking women to top bills and be chief support but not paying them chief support money," the British super-featherweight said.
"I don't think anyone is asking for equal pay because we realise we're not quite there yet. But it's the fact that they think myself versus Harper was a top-of-the-bill fight but are not willing to pay me top-of-the-bill money."
No one I know has asked for equal pay, they asked for fairness, how's that wrong? Boxers need to win, be good, have a fan friendly style, many have proved that. MMA promote female fighters well, learn from them. I hope this show does great numbers to prove that market is there!- Natasha Jonas (@TashaJonas) November 10, 2020
Hardy clearly feels the same and has expressed her views in far more robust language.
It's a thorny issue. Some will claim Hearn is doing more than most promoters to shine a spotlight on women's boxing, but some boxers clearly feel the pay imbalance is too great.
At least all sides can see eye-to-eye in hoping that Saturday's card - headlined by Taylor, Harper and Rachel Ball vs Jorgelina Guanini in a bantamweight world-title fight - is a smash hit.
Featured image credit: PA Images
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