PROMOTER Eddie Hearn insists he does not like making ‘easy’ fights for his boxers and believes the sport has entered a period of heightened scrutiny, which means fewer mismatches.

His Matchroom stables boasts some of the brightest talent in the UK, from heavyweight king Anthony Joshua right through to touted prospect Josh Kelly.

However Hearn has come under fire for feeding boxers unfancied opponents, but he feels the sport will now see less and less ‘gimme’ fights and more serious tests.

“We’re at a point in boxing where there aren’t going to be a lot of easy fights,” he told Boxing News.

“There’s a lot of competition, broadcasters want tough fights only. I’ve had enough of managers and trainers convincing me to take easy fights and then they happen and all I get is criticism off the back of it. I don’t want to make easy fights.”

Due to said competition, 2017 has already seen some excellent match-ups and is set for plenty more. For example this weekend Ohara Davies, promoted by Hearn, travels to Scotland to take on the formidable Josh Taylor in a mouth-watering domestic clash.

Of course, prospects and debutants can’t be thrown in at the deep end right away – not everybody is Vasyl Lomachenko – so the likes of Kelly, Joshua Buatsi and Lawrence Okolie will still have learning fights before pushing on.

“Some fighters you have to make those fights in order for them to progress; it’s not case of giving someone a war in their second fight,” Hearn continued.

“It’s when they get to that stage, about a year in, they’ve had around eight or 10 fights, you’ve got to see it. It’s great news for boxing fans.”

Indeed, those fans rightfully demand more competitive fights – from boxers at various stages in their respective careers – but Hearn notes that social media can be a hostile place at times.

He said: “I’ve never known a sport like boxing where the fans are so critical. Obviously we do snooker and darts as well and I look at their social feeds and there’s never the sort of criticism we get!

“It’s mad. It’s a mad sport, but I think we’re in great shape.”