Eddie Hearn says there’s no way Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev goes ahead if the coronavirus spreads and the UK government follow a similar path to Italy.
Authorities in Italy, where COVID-19 has hit hardest, have put a ban on crowds until April 3. A deadline that could be extended if the virus continues to do further damage.
The ban has already hit two scheduled Matchroom Italy shows, both of which have been postponed.
France has also put a block on gatherings of more than one thousand people, leading to fears the same could happen to the UK in the future.
With a packed schedule, Hearn says there’s no way his company would follow football’s Serie A in staging events behind closed doors.
This means if COVID-19 batters Britain in the coming weeks, shows like Joshua vs Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora will be scrapped until further notice.
Joshua vs Pulev
“I cannot see how we can stage a fight behind closed doors with no crowd,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “Can you imagine Anthony Joshua walking to fight Kubrat Pulev in front of you and me and Adam Smith?
“It’s just not going to happen.
“Could you imagine Derek Chisora fighting Oleksandr Usyk behind closed doors and laying him out with a punch from the gods and standing on the turnbuckle to see no-one?
“The crowd is so integral to the dramatic aspect of the sport of boxing. And in terms of being a TV product.
“For me, it’s very difficult to do behind closed doors.
“What will be, will be. Right now, business as normal. We go ahead with an incredible schedule that we hope will go ahead in full,” he added hopefully.
Joshua vs Pulev is set to go down on June 20th in London at the new Tottenham Stadium.
The capital city has so far been lucky in escaping a huge wave of cases as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his team work towards containing the coronavirus for as long as possible.
At this point in time, it’s merely a case of delaying the inevitable.