Hearn Willing To Hold Joshua Bout Without Fans

When it comes to future boxing fights, especially for a name like Anthony Joshua, Eddie Hearn is willing to do whatever it takes to get something done.

The Matchroom Boxing leader has had to postpone several events due to the coronavirus. Big fights, like Dillion Whyte v. Alexander Povetkin and Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev have had to be moved to later dates. Due to the revenue Matchroom can get from these fights, is Hearn willing to wait for when it is OK for fans to enter venues?

In some cases, maybe fans won’t need to be involved.

“Whyte is one of the guys saying he’ll fight Povetkin behind closed doors,” Hearn told IFL TV, via Boxing Scene. “Lots of people are saying you can’t stage the big fights behind closed doors. I’m trying to take that perception away. I want to stage some of the big fights behind closed doors. You know what, if we wait too long we won’t have a choice. Let’s crack on.  Yes, we’re going to lose money, but we’ve got. We’ll come back with two or three pumped up NextGen fights and then I want to bounce straight in with Whyte-Povetkin.”

When it comes to Anthony Joshua, Hearn has a lot more to think about. In total, Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. in December had over 3,340,000 viewers and had over 1,575,000 PPV buys in the United Kingdom. In the first fight between the two, 17,000 fans inside Madison Square Garden watched him compete. He sells out London shows quickly, something that Matchroom has to be happy about.

Not only does Joshua put on great numbers for Matchroom, but his entrances are also always a highlight. With “Sweet Caroline” blasting and a fireworks display, Joshua knows how to put on a show. That is something that has Hearn in a bind.

“Those visual impacts are so important for Joshua’s brand, for the sport of boxing, for our country – I don’t want to do that behind closed doors,” Hearn went on to say. “I want to give ourselves every opportunity to stage an AJ fight in front of a crowd. We may have to bite the bullet and say he’s only going to box once this year. ‘If that’s the case, we’re okay to go in September or October. Don’t want to go much longer than that. Then it’s a year since he last boxed.

“My preference is AJ in the UK with a crowd. My next preference is AJ in another country with a crowd. Last resort is AJ behind closed doors. I’m not going to hold his career up for a year, so we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.”

Would you like to see a fighter like Anthony Joshua compete without fans? 

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