Dillian Whyte’s hotly-anticipated heavyweight bout with Alexander Povetkin has been postponed until July 4 after all British boxing events in May were called off amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The British Boxing Board of Control initially announced that all events were cancelled until April, but on Monday they announced the extension of the suspension of all shows under its auspices.
Whyte was due to face Russian veteran Povetkin on May 2 at the Manchester Arena, where Ireland’s Katie Taylor would have put her status as undisputed lightweight champion on the line against seven-weight titlist Amanda Serrano.
However, Matchroom announced the bill will now go ahead at the same venue on the first weekend in July “subject to the developing situation”.
Welsh fighter Lee Selby’s IBF lightweight title eliminator against George Kambosos Jr at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff on May 9 has been put back to July 11.
Meanwhile, Matchroom confirmed it is attempting to rearrange another heavyweight bout – between Dereck Chisora and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk – which was originally slated for May 23 at London’s O2 Arena after that too was postponed.
Matchroom says tickets already bought for the new dates will still be valid while refunds will be made available from the point of purchase.
Speaking to talkSPORT on Monday, Matchroom supremo Eddie Hearn said he was in the dark over when boxing would return and conceded he doesn’t expect Anthony Joshua’s next fight to happen in June.
Joshua, the WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight champion, is due to defend his titles against Kubrat Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.
But Hearn feels July 25 is the more realistic date for that bout to happen, although accepts even that may be too soon for boxing to return with the UK in lockdown and no sign of when it will end.
“Every sport is looking at their calendar but nobody knows when [it will resume],” he said.
“We all hope we can return to some kind of boxing in June, whether that is behind closed doors at first, whether that is back in small hall shows, and then we hope we can get to the bigger stuff by the end of June, early July. But we are completely guessing.”
“We have looked at alternative dates for everything without knowing anything concrete,” said Hearn.
“We have ongoing conversations with Tottenham to say that if the Premier League extends and does get played in June then we’ll be pushed back.
“We do have a date of July 25 held at Spurs as well, which is more realistic. It is five weeks after June 20. But we haven’t gone on sale with that, we haven’t made an official announcement in terms of seat details and on-sale dates, so we have got less pressure on that.”