"There are a number of countries right now saying: 'We want to bring major sport back and show the world that we're open to business'"
Friday 15 May 2020 08:06, UK
Derek Chisora's heavyweight battle with Oleksandr Usyk could be moved abroad, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
Chisora and Usyk went face to face at a press conference in March but their fight has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and a new date and location has yet to be finalised.
Hearn confirmed Usyk vs Chisora would not take place within his first month back, planned for July. He told Sky Sports: "It will wait in the short term. It is not in the initial four-week period.
"I spoke to Alexander Krassyuk of K2 Promotions [Usyk's representatives] and we are looking at alternative options for that venue.
"In time you will see crowds return but at what level? One thousand? Ten-thousand? Eighty-thousand?
"There are options to stage things with a slightly smaller crowd but in a unique environment that we're looking at [in the UK]. That's outside of our initial return.
"There are a number of countries right now saying: 'We want to bring major sport back and show the world that we're open to business'.
"That might apply to a fight like Usyk vs Chisora."
The British Boxing Board of Control are "hopeful" that the sport can return in the UK in July with a maximum of five fights on each bill, which will be reviewed by the board, and there must be a pre-tournament medical form, COVID-19 testing and pre-tournament quarantine.
Dillian Whyte will collide with Alexander Povetkin behind closed doors in the UK in July, Hearn has previously said.
Katie Taylor's undisputed lightweight title fight against Amanda Serrano, which Hearn called "the best women's fight ever", could land on the same event as Whyte vs Povetkin.
But Anthony Joshua's IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev is seeking a new date and location.
"The focus remains the same - do the fight in the UK," Hearn said.
"We have also now conceded that AJ will only fight once this year.
"Before it was all about getting that fight in early-August to make sure we could fight in December. Because of the preparation needed and the magnitude of his shows, AJ will only box once in 2020.
"We hope between September and December live gates will return to the UK. There is also a chance they won't - if that's the case, we will take the fight elsewhere.
"We have had a number of approaches from the Middle East, China, and Croatia to stage the fight. We want to give ourselves every opportunity to stage it in the UK but we know it may not be possible."