The heavyweight clash between Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois could take place behind closed doors on pay-per-view if crowds are not allowed back into venues in the UK soon.
The fight between unbeaten boxers for the British, Commonwealth and European title is presently listed for October 24 at the O2 Arena, London, although it is understood that date will be moved back to November 21 or 28 in anticipation that there will be more of a chance of a crowd being allowed.
But on Monday UK Prime minister Boris Johnson announced a tightening of coronavirus restrictions, to reduce the risk of a second wave, outlawing social gatherings of more than six people.
However, a series of sporting test events planned for September in cricket, football, rugby union, basketball, horse racing and speedway, will go ahead with crowds limited to 1,000.
George Warren, the CEO of promotional company Queensberry, said it was “feasible” the fight would be held on pay-per-view if restrictions are increased, but says they were determined that the fight will happen.
“We have to assess things like everyone else,” Warren said. “We want that fight to happen, Joe Joyce wants that fight to happen, Daniel Dubois wants that fight to happen, their teams want it to happen, Queensberry want it to happen, BT want it to happen.
“Any way we will get it on, we will make it happen. It is a fight that deserves to have a crowd, whether there is the ability to be at full capacity, that remains to be seen.
“We don’t know how long these restrictions are going to be, we’ve still not had clear direction from the Government on capacities or percentages allowed in venues.
“It looks likely at the moment that in late October or November we are going to start to see the participation of crowds. We’ve got to discuss it with BT and most importantly the fighters have to be comfortable with it.”
In response to a question about staging it on pay-per-view, Warren did not rule it out.
“In the current climate, anything is feasible,” he said. “What do we want to see? We want to see a crowd. We want the British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight championships on the line for Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce at a sold-out arena such as the O2. That’s the plan, Until we can’t see that happening in the short term, that’s the plan.”
The fight was originally scheduled for April, then switched back to July and then to October. It is understood that around 15,000 tickets have been sold for the fight, When the original date was postponed, only about 10 per cent of tickets were returned, according to promoter Frank Warren.