Anthony Yarde has revealed that his father has died of coronavirus as he urged people to stay at home at respect social distancing.

The 28-year-old who boxed Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light-heavyweight title last year said that his father had been fit and had suffered no health issues before becoming infected.

He took to Instagram to reveal his tragic news.

“I’m a very private person and tbh I’m still in shock but maybe this can help people stay at home,” he wrote. “My dad passed away from this virus yesterday and he was fit with no health issues.

“The more people go out and mingle the longer this isolation will last and the more it will spread. I’m not a doctor but I do know if you stay home you are less likely to catch it or pass it on. It’s seriously not worth the risk.”

Yarde, who has won his only fight since losing his unbeaten record to Kovalev in Russia last August, had been due to face Lyndon Arthur next month but the fight was rescheduled to July 11.

The death toll in the UK from coronavirus reached 1,228 yesterday, with the number of people who have died worldwide now topping 30,000.

A statement from Yarde’s promoter Frank Warren said: “Frank Warren and everyone at Queensberry Promotions would like to express sincere condolences to Anthony Yarde and his family after the untimely passing of his father.

“Coronavirus is an issue affecting all of us, but that doesn’t make the individual casualties any less tragic. We hope that his fans listen to Anthony’s heartfelt plea for people to take the governments advice seriously so we can try and minimise the suffering of others.”