The Covid-19 Pandemic has had a disastrous effect on the boxing schedule in 2020, but it appears that four titanic heavyweight clashes will go ahead before the close of the year.
Dillian Whyte has his shot at revenge against Alexander Povetkin on November 21; unified champion Anthony Joshua is provisionally scheduled to face Kubrat Pulev on December 12 while WBC king Tyson Fury will likely face Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight on December 19.
The final piece of the puzzle is WBO No.1 contender Oleksander Usyk’s postponed encounter with Dereck Chisora, originally scheduled for May, but a complicated fight to rearrange with no fans in attendance and the reduced purses that brings.
Yet, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, the financial obstacles are nearing resolution.
“We’re close,” Hearn told Sky Sports.“I mean both guys understand that without a gate at The O2, there’s significantly less revenue driven to that show, but both guys fancy that fight.
“We’re trying to get the maths right. We’re trying to get the numbers right to get these guys over the line. I have to say, fair play to both of them, they are trying to find a way.
“Usyk is saying to me, Chisora is saying to me, [Chisora’s manager] David Haye phones me all the time – ‘Let’s find a way to make this fight, it’s great for boxing.’
“But we are handcuffed and bound by the fact that no fans are allowed at the moment. But if I’m a betting man, I’m having a little cheeky each way punt that Usyk-Chisora gets over the line.”
Victory for Usyk will rubberstamp a crack at current WBO title-holder Joshua who has eyes on a two-fight unification series with Tyson Fury, but the Ukrainian seems likely to enforce his shot that will mean ‘AJ’ must face him after IBF mandatory Pulev or vacate.
“For sure, yes he’s not stepping aside,” added Hearn. “[Usyk] wants the fight – the winner of Joshua against Pulev for the WBO world title.
“Maybe Mr. Chisora puts a spanner in the works like Alexander Povetkin did. Anything could happen.
“Usyk believes he could go out, get a good win under his belt in the heavyweight division and then move on to challenge for a world title in 2021.”
Main image: Matchroom Boxing.