Burns return 'not guaranteed'
Ricky Burns may never box again after fighting with a broken jaw for more than 10 rounds of his world title defence against Raymundo Beltran
The 30-year-old had titanium plates inserted in his jaw after retaining the WBO lightweight title following the draw with the impressive Mexican at the SECC in Glasgow and Hearn later cast doubt on his future.
Most observers thought Beltran had won the contest and there was immediate talk of a rematch but Burns faces greater concerns.
Hearn told BBC Radio 5Live on Sunday evening: "Everyone's talking about his next move. I can't even guarantee he'll box again at the moment.
"He'll be in for a couple of days and then we wait and see how it sets and forms and go from there.
"It was a horrific injury to suffer. There have been a few occasions when people have boxed on with broken jaws - I couldn't imagine anything worse - but they are extraordinary people, fighters, and he found the bravery to carry on.
"The doctor, who doesn't know a lot about boxing, was quite astonished when I told him he had boxed for half an hour with a broken jaw.
"He asked if he had taken any shots on it and I told him that was the understatement of the year."
After an impressive start, Burns was caught with a powerful left hook in the second round and was sent to the canvas in the eighth with a similar strike.
Beltran had the Coatbridge fighter on the back foot for much of the fight and Burns held on to his opponent on numerous occasions while boxing far less tightly than normal.
It became increasingly apparent as the fight progressed that he was in severe pain with his jaw and Hearn paid tribute to the double world champion, who he revealed had been sitting up in his hospital bed following surgery.
"When I spoke to Beltran last night, he said he could hear him almost crying in clinches where the heads were going in on the jaw - unpleasant stuff, but he's on the mend," he said.
"You look at Ricky Burns and he looks more like choirboy than a fighter, but he's one brave kid and our immediate concern is to make sure that he's okay."
The fact that Burns fought on through the pain was remarkable but it was also incredible to most who watched the fight that Beltran was not declared the winner despite the champion's strong finish in the final two rounds.
One judge gave the Scot the verdict by 115-112, another gave it to Beltran by 115-113 with the third judge scoring it 114-114, a verdict that drew gasps and very muted celebrations inside the hall.
The challenger's manager, Steve Feder, expressed fears for the sport's credibility.
"He was robbed, of course," said Feder. "Ultimately it is a sad day for the sport.
"It is not the only day like that the sport has had. When you say he was robbed that makes it about us and last night was about boxing and boxing was robbed.
"I don't blame Eddie or anyone at Matchroom. They were embarrassed. I think they're gentlemen and they're here because they love the sport but if I read them right, they're embarrassed.
"I don't think it sits well with them. Most importantly, Ricky didn't want to put that belt (on). What does that say to you?
"It says that this guy is a real champion and he doesn't want to be given anything.
"This country should be incredibly proud of Ricky: this isn't about him. Ricky didn't rob us.
"People say why are we losing fans? Why is the MMA and UFC (mixed martial arts) taking over in the (United) States? Why do people get turned off by this sport? Last night was the reason.
"You can't bring in new fans if they feel that there is some corruption going on.
"I'm not talking about money or moving things around. Corruption: look it up.
"We're corrupting a beautiful sport.
"When it's done right it is beautiful but last night tarnished it."
Feder continued at a measured pace with his summation, saying: "At the end of the day, Ricky is still the champion.
"I can tell my kid that he is the true champion but Ricky is probably going to walk into Madison Square Garden and fight (Miguel) Vasquez or (Terence) Crawford.
"Did he earn the right to do that? No, he didn't."