Eddie Hearn lifts lid on plans for boxing marathon after coronavirus lockdown is lifted
Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn has revealed he’s in the process of building a facility capable of hosting fights once the coronavirus lockdown has been lifted. The COVID-19 outbreak has wreaked havoc with the sporting calendar and forced entire cities to go into lockdown.
Boxing has also felt the full effects of the global pandemic, with several high profile fights being postponed indefinitely or cancelled.
Dillian Whyte’s clash with Alexander Povetkin and Anthony Joshua’s homecoming against Kubrat Pulev have both fallen victim to the outbreak, with both fights being postponed.
As with several other sporting organisations, Hearn is keen to get the Matchroom ball rolling again as soon as the government begin to relax restrictions on gatherings.
For Hearn, that entails hosting several fights behind closed doors – which he hopes to do in quick succession to make up for lost time.
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We are in the process of building a unique environment for boxing to return
And he’s hoping to kick off the boxing bonanza in late June.
“I feel that June is still in the balance but we are working towards boxing behind closed doors for the end of June or early July,” he told the Daily Star.
“We are in the process of building a unique environment for boxing to return.
“That will be our own environment that we will self create for a period of probably between four and six weeks. We will stage a number of shows.”
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Hearn is adamant the safety of his fighters and staff is his utmost priority and insists he won’t put their lives in danger by staging fights any earlier than June.
“We don’t want to take any chances though,” he added. “For the sake of a few months, we are not going to put people at risk of contracting an illness which could potentially be fatal so we won’t do it unless it is safe.”
Joshua’s unified title clash with Pulev could very well be one of the fights that end up taking place at Hearn’s makeshift arena.
‘AJ’ is tentatively scheduled to defend his titles against the Bulgarian – whom he was supposed to face in October 2017 – on July 25.
Joshua is itching to get back in the ring and is more than willing to face ‘The Cobra’ behind closed doors, regardless of the implications doing so would have on his purse.
“Economically I’m taking a big hit like the rest of the world,” Joshua said in an interview with DAZN’s Chris Mannix.
“I would definitely fight for the love of my sport and economically I’ve got that hunger in me, even if I drop five dollars or pounds, I’m turning back to get it. I’m never too big to earn a buck.”
“100 per cent I would fight for $8million [£6million] less [from no gate receipts]. 100 per cent I would take the opportunity to fight at the drop of a hat.”
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