Dennis Hobson column: Me, envious of Eddie Hearn?

Waleed Din and admirers
Waleed Din and admirers

What is known of Waleed Din’s next opponent Thomas Essomba? And how is Waleed looking in training?

Waleed fights Thomas on October 17 at the Magna Centre, live on freeview channel Spike TV. Essomba is a Cameroonian Olympian who’s now based in the north east under my pal Phil Jeffries who has a lot of faith in him. It’s an absolute 50-50 fight. They were both quality amateurs and actually fought each other with Essomba winning a points decision. So they’re no strangers, and Essomba will fancy this job. It’s a massive opportunity for both of them to step into the big league for a meaningful title and start earning some proper money. Waleed knows it’s a tough fight, and he’s been looking great in training. He’s had top quality sparring with Paul Butler and everything’s been going to plan. It’s going to be a class fight and I think there’ll be drama because Waleed has dynamite in his fists and he’ll look to finish this kid at any opportunity. Waleed is a professional inside and outside the ring and this will be the coming of age for him.

Are you envious of Eddie Hearn signing Chris Eubank Jr?

Eubank Jr is a great signing, but Hearn is always going to attract big names because of the platform he has. Eubank is a colourful character and looks like he’s turning into a great fighter. I look forward to seeing him because he excites me. I rate him, he’s good to watch. Am I jealous of Eddie? Look, I broke Ricky Hatton in America, and set him up for the Floyd Mayweather fight which was fantastic, but Ricky was already a world champ and established in this country then. I’ve got unfashionable kids – who the ‘big name’ promoters never took a second glance at - to world titles. That gives me the biggest buzz, taking someone who’s under the radar onto a world title.

Having the Sky TV backing is fantastic, but I’ve done it all the hard way, never had it handed to me on a plate, and I get a lot of satisfaction from that.

I want to earn my fighters as much money as possible, but there are certain fighters who have gone from me who would have been financially better off if they’d stayed. The grass isn’t always greener.

What do you make of Clinton Woods’ new boy Joss Paul?

I don’t know much about him, but if he has a little bit of Clinton rubbing off on him then he has a chance of achieving. Through hard work, ability and commitment, Clinton achieved the ultimate. If Joss has anything like that then he has a chance!