Sports promoter Barry Hearn had admitted that Anthony Joshua heavyweight boxing title defence which was scheduled to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer, could be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The spread of the virus has already seen many sporting events in Europe and across the world being suspended or cancelled and it looks like there is more to come.
Tottenham confirmed earlier this month that IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight boxing champion, Joshua will defend his world titles against Kubrat Pulev at the club’s new stadium on June 20.
Spurs reportedly saw off competition their North London rivals, Arsenal to win the right to host the fighter’s long-awaited homecoming (The Sun).
However, Hearn has now admitted that there is uncertainty surrounding the future of the fight and that it could be one of many sporting events in this year’s calendar to be binned as the authorities scramble to deal with the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Hearn said: “We know we are in the s***! We’ve got a massive fight on June 20, Anthony Joshua facing Pulev, but we don’t know whether that will happen now.
“You don’t want to cancel big events and where possible we will play them, but this is the equivalent of a world war. In all my years of sport, I’ve never encountered these unprecedented circumstances.
“We’ve got 650 live events this year and we’ve already had to cancel a snooker tournament in China and have now been forced to cancel pool events in North America because the situation has escalated over there.
“But we’ve got to be sensible and although livelihoods are at stake, you have to follow the guidelines.
“People are still going to work, so I would ask the questions whether the whole country needs to be closed down and we suck it up.
“The economy would be in tatters and it would be a bitter pill to swallow, but at the end of the day this is a serious virus and peoples’ lives are at stake.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic should be the priority of every government around the world and so sporting events do have to take a backseat at this dangerous time. What is worrying is the fact that the situation doesn’t look like it is not going to be resolved soon. We could be seeing the cancellation of events for the best part of the year.
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