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Eddie Hearn takes first tentative steps to conquering America | Sean Ingle

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Backed by a new streaming service and $1bn, the promoter is taking on his biggest challenge yet

On a breezy Saturday evening in Chicago, Eddie Hearn parked his tanks firmly on American boxing’s lawn and declared: “The war is on.” Thus the first shots were fired in the sport’s latest – and most intriguing – turf war.

Six months ago, Hearn would not have a hope. Not against the muscle of Showtime and Top Rank. But now he comes armed with the financial equivalent of a Gustav Gun after signing a $1bn (£760m) eight-year deal with the streaming service DAZN (pronounced Da Zone) to stage 16 shows in the US every year and another 16 from the UK. And global ambitions.

Related: Anthony Joshua unlikely to fight Deontay Wilder soon, says Eddie Hearn

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