To the great surprise of nobody, the two big heavyweight fights that were set for May in the UK – Dillian Whyte-Alexander Povetkin and Dereck Chisora-Oleksandr Usyk – have been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus situation. Whyte-Povetkin was to have gone down on May 2, and a new date of July 4 has been announced. Chisora-Usyk was to have taken place on May 23, and as of yet no new date has been mentioned.
An official statement from The BBB of C reads:
“The British Boxing Board of Control has further extended its suspension of boxing tournaments under its jurisdiction for the month of May. We will continue to follow the government and medical authorities advice and keep the situation under review and when possible explore all options available to find a way of lifting the suspension when conditions permit.”
The summer boxing schedule faces further disruption and the Anthony Joshua-Kubrat Pulev heavyweight title fight, still scheduled for June 20, is also likely to be postponed. There has been plenty of discussion between boxing promoters of how, maybe, fights could go ahead but behind closed doors. Thus far this is the only idea anyone has had when it comes to somehow getting fights on during this unique and frighting time.
Naturally, all four fighters – Whyte, Povetkin, Chisora and Usyk – are very frustrated and disappointed due to today’s news, but it seems inevitable more big fights will suffer the same fate.
“The problem is nobody knows, but we all hope we can return to some kind of boxing in June,” Eddie Hearn told TalkSport. “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. I know there’s a bigger picture going on but everyone in the sport right now needs to be working on a solution. It’s going to be a 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.”
Let’s all hope we do come out of the other side sooner rather than later.