Gibraltar, Monaco and the Middle East are all possible venues for the Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte rematch after Whyte asked Hearn to find a venue where fans could attend.
Povetkin knocked out Whyte in their first meeting at Fight Camp in the garden of Matchroom’s Essex headquarters last August in front of no paying spectators.
The rematch, which was delayed from November after Povetkin tested positive for Covid-19, has now been scheduled for March 6, with the interim WBC heavyweight title on the line.
It was one of five shows Hearn announced on Friday. While the others will all take place at the same venue, there is a chance that the Povetkin-Whyte could go abroad, with Gibraltar, the British Overseas Territory on the southern tip of Spain, one possible venue.
“We’re looking to stage all of those fights in one location, with perhaps only the Dillian Whyte fight going international,” Hearn said. “At the moment that’s an option but we haven’t made any decisions yet.
“We’ve spoken to some quite interesting ones, a couple in the Middle East and we’ve also spoken to Gibraltar and also to Monaco.
“The feeling from Dillian is he would like crowds for that fight. It’s a big fight for him and he would prefer that fight in front of some kind of crowds but even in the territories I mentioned there’s no guarantee that would be the case either. There could be crowds in Gibraltar.”
Hearn said a UK venue had not been chosen yet, although he expected it to be in the London area. Matchroom staged five shows, including Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev, at the SSE Arena, Wembley.
A crowd of 1,000 was allowed in for the Joshua-Pulev fights, but a rise in coronavirus n the UK led to the government banning crowds at live events at the moment.
“Previously we’ve been to Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Wembley, we could go anywhere really,” Hearn said. “I think the general feel from the [British Boxing} Board [of Control] is that the medical support in London is best for the fighters in terms of the specific units, so the Board would be happy at the moment for us to stay in London.
“We will be working on venues over the next few days then we will put it to the board and make a decision together.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 – covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.