Eddie Hearn fears Covid chaos will impact EVERY upcoming show of his after Conor Benn’s positive test rocked Matchroom’s latest Fight Camp… before admitting his worry at money-spinning fights like Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk being called off
Eddie Hearn expects positive Covid tests to impact all his upcoming shows and admits he is near-powerless to insure against disaster hitting money-spinning fights such as Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk.
Matchroom’s second instalment of Fight Camp kicks off this Saturday without its headline fight, after Conor Benn failed a coronavirus test two days before facing Adrian Granados.
The outbreak was contained because Benn was not staying within the fight hotel bubble but promoter Hearn admitted: ‘You have to think realistically, we’re going to one a week.
Conor Benn tested positive for Covid two days before facing Adrian Granados at Fight Camp
‘But obviously it being the main event is an extra kick in the nuts. I don’t know the answer. I know a dozen people who have Covid who are double vaccinated… it doesn’t matter. If a fully-vaccinated person fails a Covid test, he can’t fight.’
Hearn added: ‘Conor was booked in for his vaccine after this fight – a lot of fighters don’t want to have it during camp because they’re worried about feeling rough for three or four days… Campbell Hatton is another one. He said: “Mine is on Monday.”‘
Saturday’s show will go on without Benn-Granados and even losing one of his three Fight Camp shows – staged back-to-back at Matchroom HQ with only 300 fans – would not be financially catastrophic.
But cancelling Joshua-Usyk, slated for September 25 at Tottenham’s new 60,000-seater stadium, would leave a sizeable financial black hole on the back of a difficult couple of years for the sport.
Eddie Hearn fears Covid will impact all of his upcoming shows after Benn’s positive test
‘You can’t insure against Covid – it’s very difficult to do unless you want to pay an extortionate premium,’ Hearn said.
‘The only thing is, guys like Joshua and Usyk, they have teams of people that are testing them every day.’
Joshua has previously had Covid and Hearn is confident the unified heavyweight champion still has antibodies.
But Benn-Granados will now have to be rescheduled – most likely for September 4 in Leeds – after The Destroyer returned two positive lateral flow tests on Thursday morning. He was symptom-free, a mild headache aside.
‘The reality is, if Conor Benn hadn’t tested, he would have boxed… people start saying: “why are the fighters still testing when there is no requirement?” But it is the right decision,’ Hearn added.
Hearn will be desperate Covid doesn’t affect Anthony Joshua’s fight with Oleksandr Usyk
‘Conor was like: “I’m fine”… I said: “Mate you could go four rounds and have a f****** heart attack… you just don’t know.”‘
The promoter believes fighters should be free to choose whether to take a coronavirus vaccine but accepts the British Boxing Board of Control could make it mandatory.
‘I came in this morning, my old man was in,’ Hearn continued, ‘I said: “F****** hell, Conor Benn has failed a Covid test. I just started thinking to myself. Is this ever going to f****** end?
‘He was like: “Pull yourself together, tart. What’s the matter with you?”‘
Fight Camp 2 will be shown live on DAZN