With the coronavirus epidemic in China, some observers feared that Chinese mandatory challenger Meng Fanlong would not be able to face WBC, IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev on the scheduled date of March 28 at the Videotron Center in Canada.
Promoter Yvon Michel of GYM, who is helping stage the event, has already reached out to Dino Duva of Roc Nation Sports to ensure the challenger was able to make the date.
"I contacted the promoter of Meng (Dino Duva) when the first fatal cases of the coronavirus were declared," said Michel to The Montreal Journal. "However, he quickly reassured me that his boxer had lived in New Jersey for a few years and that he had not returned to China for some time."
The Beterbiev clan, Top Rank and GYM can therefore focus on promoting the event on March 28. Fanlong is about to sign his contract to face the unified champion.
"Our lawyers are already working on Meng's visa applications," added Michel. "We would like him to be present at our press conference for the launch of the promotion."
Fanlong (16-0, 10 KOs) became the mandatory challenger when he won a final eliminator against Adam Deines in June of 2019.
Beterbiev is coming of the biggest win of his career from last October, when he stopped undefeated Oleksandr Gvozdyk in eleven rounds to unify the WBC, IBF world titles in Philadelphia.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.