Eddie Hearn not keen on crowd-less boxing matches should Coronavirus continue

Eddie Hearn not keen on crowd-less boxing matches should Coronavirus continue

Eddie Hearn says he’s hopeful we won’t get to a point where live events are postponed in the United Kingdom, but he’d rather that than fights in empty arenas.

By Oscar Willis - 11 Mar 2020

Promoter Eddie Hearn would rather see entire postponement of live boxing events rather than host matches in front of empty arenas.

The boxing honcho, who manages Anthony Joshua, was asked by media this week if he could foresee a time when his cards would be held with no audience in attendance should the coronavirus epidemic continue to worsen.

While Hearn says the safety of the consumers means we could see a time when live sporting events are put on hold in the United Kingdom, he says it’s unlikely we’ll see similar reactions in boxing as we have to football games across the continent.

“The crowd is very important to boxing occasions,” Hearn said, speaking to BBC Sport Wales. “Boxing is very different to a game of football, doing it behind closed doors? Not really, fighters need that noise and the adrenaline to peak, the crowd is very important to those occasions. Fingers crossed, we don’t think that [cancelling events] is on the horizon just yet, it is up to the government to think about safety, which is paramount.

“But we’ve also got to think about these fighters, they’ve got to go out and earn their money, provide for their families. When you miss a fight date, it isn’t as simple as just fighting the next week. Sometimes you circle three or four months waiting for a new date… we have a lot of events lined up in arenas that will be full up.

“Fighters train for months, making weight is hard, these guys aren’t going to work every day, they get paid on one night and if you lose that it is a major, major blow for them and their families and livelihoods. Public safety is absolutely paramount, but we want to be putting on these shows, so hopefully the government can do the right job containing it and we get over it as soon as possible.”

As of now, Hearn has no idea of what the British government are likely to do, but as figures of those who’ve contracted CONVID-19 rise in the country, it seems entirely possible fights are going to be scrapped in the near future.

“We wait and see really. We had a meeting yesterday with the government, it was for rights’ holders to talk about precautions and implications as to what might happen in the future,” Hearn said. “Touch wood, it doesn’t seem like that [calling off events] is imminent, it is controlled, but obviously, if it gets to the level of Italy, which is scary, [it will be]. We have cancelled two events in Italy because of coronavirus, but we hope it won’t affect live events here… we want to keep filling arenas.”