Whyte fight 'off' but Hearn eyes boxing return behind closed doors

London (AFP) –


Dillian Whyte's heavyweight clash with Alexander Povetkin is set to become the latest victim of coronavirus but boxing could return behind closed doors in June, according to British promoter Eddie Hearn.

"We will make an official announcement today (about the Whyte fight) but basically, yes (the show is off)," Hearn told Talksport radio on Monday.

"The problem is nobody knows, but we all hope we can return to some kind of boxing in June.

"Whether that's behind closed doors at first, or whether that's back with small-hall shows then we hope we can get to the bigger shows before the end of June."

Britain's Whyte was due to take on Russia's Povetkin on May 2 in Manchester.

Britain is also home of heavyweight champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua and Fury's recent win against American Deontay Wilder has led to talk of an all-British showdown.

Hearn said July 25 would be a more realistic date for Joshua's defence of his IBF, IBO and WBA title belts against Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

He said the scheduled date of June 20 could fall within the domestic football season if it was resumed.

"I know there's a bigger picture going on but everyone in sport right now needs to be working on a solution," said Hearn.

"It's going to be an horrifically messy time for sports and businesses when we do come out of the other side, because the world won't be the same again."