Eddie Hearn issues warning over trans boxers fighting women in ring: 'You've got to be very careful'

The boxing promoter called on the sport's governing body to make an appropriate decision regarding the inclusion of trans athletes in boxing

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British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has stated he wouldn't be in favour of putting a fighter that's assigned male at birth in a ring with a female fighter, in an exclusive interview with GB News.

Hearn said "I wouldn't believe so, no" when asked whether he thought he would like to see a transgender athlete fight a woman.

Acknowledging the recent ban by swimming's governing body FINA on athletes who have gone through male puberty from racing in women's events, the promoter told GB News: "I think boxing is such a physical sport you've got to be very, very careful in terms of going down that route."

The announcement by FINA last month sparked anger amongst athletes, including Olympic diver Tom Daley, who was "furious" when he heard the news.

Speaking ahead of the boxing match between Derek Chisora and Kubrat Pulev in London this weekend, Hearn opened up on where boxing stands in the debate.

Eddie Hearn speaking to GB News ahead of Dereck Chisora's fight against Kubrat Pulev
Eddie Hearn speaking to GB News ahead of Dereck Chisora's fight against Kubrat Pulev

He added: "It's not an issue we've had to overcome at the moment and I think it's something that has to be looked into very, very deeply – especially when you're talking about contact sports, or sports that can cause physical harm as well.

"We're not talking about swimming here, we're talking about a sport where you're going in and striking your opponent, so we leave that to the authorities."

Hearn said governing bodies need to act accordingly as the "world continues to evolve and change".

He continued: "Ultimately we need to make sure the sport is safe, the sport is fair and I guess it's a case by case scenario, it's not something that's come into the sport yet, but if it does the governing bodies need to be across."

The inclusion of trans athletes in high performance sport is a highly-contented issue.

Swimming's new gender inclusion policy was passed by more than 70 percent of member federations at an extraordinary congress during the ongoing World Championships in Budapest.

FINA president Husain Al-Musallam said: “We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions.”

The move means Lia Thomas, who in March became the first transgender swimmer to win a major US national college title, will be ineligible to compete in the women’s category with immediate effect.

FINA’s announcement comes two weeks after cycling’s governing body, the UCI, voted to double the period of time before a rider transitioning from male to female can compete.

Watch Chisora vs. Pulev exclusively live on DAZN.

Additional reporting by Anna Fox