Promoter Eddie Hearn is very open to the idea of staging big fights behind closed doors.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Hearn was forced to postpone numerous events - including Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev, Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte, and Derek Chisora vs. Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua-Pulev was scheduled for June 20, and pushed back to July 25 - but that date could very well fall out as well. Hearn prefers to have a crowd for that contest, in the UK, but realizes that he may be forced to take the show on the road.
"Those visual impacts are so important for Joshua’s brand, for the sport of boxing, for our country – I don’t want to do that behind closed doors. I want to give ourselves every opportunity to stage an AJ fight in front of a crowd. We may have to bite the bullet and say he’s only going to box once this year. ‘If that’s the case, we’re okay to go in September or October. Don’t want to go much longer than that. Then it’s a year since he last boxed," Hearn told IFL TV.
"My preference is AJ in the UK with a crowd. My next preference is AJ in another country with a crowd. Last resort is AJ behind closed doors. I’m not going to hold his career up for a year, so we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do."
On the other hand, fights like Whyte vs. Povetkin and Chisora vs. Usyk have more of a chance to take place behind closed doors.
"Whyte is one of the guys saying he’ll fight Povetkin behind closed doors. Lots of people are saying you can’t stage the big fights behind closed doors. I’m trying to take that perception away. I want to stage some of the big fights behind closed doors. You know what, if we wait too long we won’t have a choice. Let’s crack on. Yes, we’re going to lose money, but we’ve got. We’ll come back with two or three pumped up NextGen fights and then I want to bounce straight in with Whyte-Povetkin," Hearn said.