Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin to be axed due to COVID-19 outbreak, Eddie Hearn says

Dillian Whyte’s heavyweight showdown with Alexander Povetkin is set to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn has revealed. Brixton’s Whyte was scheduled to lock horns with the two-time world title challenger in Manchester on May 2.

However, due to the lockdown imposed by the UK government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Matchroom have taken the decision to postpone the fight.

“We will make an announcement, but basically yes [it is off],” said Hearn.

Hearn foresaw Whyte’s clash with the Russian being postponed and already has a tentative contingency in plan in place for the bout.

During an appearance on Sky Sports earlier this month, Hearn said: “We’ve Anthony Joshua due for June 20th, we’ve got Oleksandr Uysk and Chisora on May 23rd, we’ve got Dillian Whyte on May 2.

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Dillian Whyte’s clash with Alexander Povetkin is set to be cancelled

“They’re all at risk. They’re all in doubt. The truth is no one really knows where we are right now and what pace we’re going at.

“We have contingencies to move Dillian Whyte to the middle of June, to move Derek Chisora (versus Uysk back until the end of June, early July.

“And, of course, Anthony Joshua, who was due to go on June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur football club.

“It really relies on the run of the Premier League,” Hearn said of Joshua vs Pulev.

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“Because if the Premier League extend their stadium, Spurs will need their stadium.

“We already have a reserve date which we’re discussing with Spurs of July 15 for Anthony Joshua against Kubrat Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.”

Despite the uncertainty over when normalcy will return to the UK, Hearn is hoping the boxing world can resume business in June.

He said: “Every sport is looking at their calendar but nobody knows when [it will resume].

“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.”

Whyte, 31, was last in action last December on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s unified heavyweight title rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia, where he recorded a unanimous decision victory over Mariusz Wach.

Povetkin, 40, was also in action on the Ruiz vs Joshua II undercard, where he fought Michael Hunter to split draw.

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