Dillian Whyte’s interim WBC heavyweight title clash with Alexander Povetkin looks likely to go ahead on August 15 in the grounds of Matchroom’s headquarters in Essex after the Manchester show that was to have included it was formally cancelled.
The show had originally been scheduled for May but was pushed back to July 4 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now that show has been scrapped altogether, while two other shows from July – Lee Selby’s IBF lightweight title eliminator against George Kambosos Jr and Lewis Ritson’s fight with Miguel Vazquez – have been moved to October 3 and October 17 respectively.
It has long been known that no shows would take place before fans in the UK for the foreseeable future and Eddie Hearn revealed to Boxing Scene last week that Whyte Povetkin fights would feature on the fourth and final edition of his outdoor Fight Camp show in Brentwood, alongside Katie Taylor’s world lightweight title defence against Amanda Serrano.
The show would be on Sky Box Office in the UK and DAZN in North America.
It now looks likely that the Fight Camp series will begin on July 25, meaning the Whyte-Povetkin bill should be on August 15.
Plans for the show received a boost this week from the UK Government, which confirmed that elite sportspersons would be excluded from the 14-day quarantine restrictions that are to be placed on anyone arriving into the UK from June 8. The quarantine would affect any overseas officials, however.
Hearn revealed that he now hopes that the first show of Fight Camp will feature Chris Jenkins defending his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles against Conor Benn. Hearn had originally hoped to match Benn with Johnny Garton, the former British champion, only for Garton to decide to retire.
“In an ideal world that is the fight I would like to headline on July 25 to start us,” Hearn said to IFL TV.
Other fights agreed for the series include Terri Harper making the first defence of her WBC super-featherweight title against Natasha Jonas, Simon Vallily v Fabio Wardley for the English heavyweight title and James Tennyson against Gavin Gwynne for the vacant British lightweight title.
Luther Clay and Chris Kong are due to meet in a clash of welterweight prospects, while Chris Billam-Smith will face Nathan Thorley for the English cruiserweight title.
Hearn says he is also trying to make a fight between Ted Cheeseman and Sam Eggington, as well as Jason Quigley against Jack Cullen and Jordan Gill against Reece Bellotti. Callum Johnson, Zelfa Barrett, Kash Farooq and Shannon Courtenay will also be featured.
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.