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Eddie Hearn: Matchroom Boxing events still on for now despite coronavirus pandemic

The Matchroom promoter does have concerns about a pair of upcoming cards, but is remaining hopeful about bigger events on the schedule.

With boxing no different than any other sport in that we’re seeing a mass amount of event cancellations, Matchroom Boxing has not yet pulled any of its scheduled cards, including their Mar. 28 bill at the O2 Arena in London, which is to feature David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly in the main event.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has to be feeling the heat, though, as the Premier League and other football leagues in the United Kingdom have suspended play, and he spoke about what’s going on right now at today’s Usyk-Chisora announcement press conference.

“(They’re talking about) April 3rd (with the football leagues), back to normal on April 4th,” he said. “Things can change, and really it’s a case-by-case scenario, as things go. Everything’s completely out of our hands. We’re led by the government. At the moment, it’s business as usual. As we stress to the fans, don’t panic. Anything you’ve got a ticket for that is canceled, or anything you buy a ticket for that is canceled, you will receive a refund in full.

“I think it’s the short term stuff particularly that is going to be under the most threat. When we talk about (Usyk-Chisora), it’s 11 weeks away, (Anthony) Joshua is 15 weeks away, Dillian Whyte is seven weeks away. I’m more concerned right now about March 28th at the O2, April 4th in Newcastle.

“But this stuff from the Premier League and the EFL is encouraging in the sense where we have a date where things are supposed to go back to normal. But again, completely out of our hands. I love the way everybody’s an expert on the coronavirus, including me and you and the bloke down the pub. The truth is, none of us know. It’s gonna be a day-by-day situation we’ve got to keep on top of and stay positive about.”

Hearn reiterated that he’s most concerned about the Avanesyan-Kelly card on Mar. 28 and the Lewis Ritson-Miguel Vazquez card in Newcastle on Apr. 4, but at the moment, those shows remain on.

“Right now, March 28th, April 4th, everything goes ahead,” he said. “Again, all these shows that have been canceled in America yesterday have been done so by either the government or the state or the local athletic commission. So until the British Boxing Board of Control, until the government particularly, give us a conclusive answer to events, everything goes ahead as planned.

“I think the short term stuff is the real danger. I think if we’re starting to delay the Premier League and gathering of events, then like I say, March 28th, April 4th is more concerning. We hope that events like Whyte-Povetkin, (Usyk-Chisora), Joshua will go ahead as planned, as normal.”

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