The CEO of Matchroom Boxing has sued for defamation, alleging reputational harm due to Paul accusing Hearn of buying judges in a recent interview. According to TMZ, which broke the story on Friday, this is the case.
According to Hearn's lawyer Frank Salzano, “Both legally and ethically there is a clear line separating opinion from defamatory lies,” to TMZ. Jake Paul intentionally crossed the line when he falsely accused Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn of rigging fights. He is aware of this.
“Nonetheless, he was still given an opportunity to retract his defamatory statements and refused to. Now he will face the legal consequences of his actions as Matchroom and Mr. Hearn will be seeking damages in well excess of $100 million given the value and goodwill attached to the Matchroom business and the harmful nature of Mr. Paul’s comments.”
Paul, who amassed a sizable following on YouTube, has been active in boxing for the past several years, working as a promoter through Most Valuable Promotions as well as a professional fighter.
One of the largest women's boxing fights in history, Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano, was staged in April thanks to Paul and Hearn's collaboration. Hearn promoted Taylor through Matchroom Boxing, while Paul promoted Serrano through MVP.
Taylor defeated Serrano by a split decision in a fiercely contested match. Judge Glenn Feldman, who had the most extensive scorecard of the three judges presiding over the bout, gave Taylor the victory 97–93.
A few months later, Feldman came under fire online once more when he predicted that Anthony Joshua of Matchroom Boxing would defeat Oleksandr Usyk in the rematch for the heavyweight championship with a score of 115-113. Usyk won by a narrow margin when the two more judges recognized his merit.
Paul complained that Feldman scored in both fights and suggested that Hearn and Feldman had engaged in improper behaviour earlier this month in an interview with IFL TV, which is no longer available and has been made private on YouTube.
“Glenn Feldman, shows up in Saudi and scores Anthony Joshua to win the fight,” Paul said. “Everyone watched the fight, it’s not a split decision. Usyk had a runaway victory, clearly won the fight. This judge, Glenn Feldman, gives it to Anthony Joshua? It’s like a repeated crime here. This type of sh*t, I’m going to call it out here in boxing because it’s bullsh*t.
“Clearly, this guy is getting paid money by Matchroom Boxing. That’s a bold statement and an accusation that I don’t take lightly, but it’s just blatantly obvious. You would think they would bring a different judge that f*cked up the scoring of Taylor-Serrano to Saudi Arabia.”