Eddie Hearn has declared that British boxing will continue, even if it is forced to take place outside of Britain.
The BBBofC (British Boxing Board of Control) announced on Sunday that they had suspended the sport for the month of January due to the renewed rise in COVID-19 cases and necessity for medical staff to be elsewhere.
Since then, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out a third national lockdown for the country, but said elite sport can continue during this period.
Hearn has already lost his first show of 2021 (David Avanesyan vs Josh Kelly on January 30) due to the BBBofC’s suspension, and is adamant he will not see any more fall by the wayside.
The promoter told iFL TV: “It doesn’t affect us too much at the moment because it’s one show that we can kick into February.
“The key now is I need reassurance from the board that they are gonna let boxing restart in February.
“And, if they don’t, then we’re gonna go abroad with all our shows.
“If elite sports are allowed to continue, we need to make sure that boxing continues.
“I’ve got a schedule that’s mouth-watering to be honest with you and I think we’re ready to announce it. I think we’ll announce it this week.
“If we can’t do that in the UK, we will run that schedule for UK fans from another country with another commission, which is not good news for the BBBofC.
“But they have to make the right decisions that they feel are in line with the doctor’s decisions. I don’t knock that, but we can’t wait until the end of January to see if boxing in February will be allowed to go ahead.”
In 2020, combat sports events were staged in a number of bizarre locations, including Hearn’s Matchroom HQ back garden.
Regarding where he could move to now, he said: “You can go anywhere you want, America, the Middle East, Monaco, Italy, Gibraltar, Jersey, they’re all in play.
“I’m not sitting still waiting for anybody. I’m doing my own thing. I’m not letting fighters down, I’m not letting fans down, I’m not letting broadcasters down.
“Boxing cracks on. Wherever it may be, it’s happening.”
He concluded: “I’ve got five shows ready to announce in the UK.
“I’m gonna announce this week, wherever they’re gonna be. We’re ready.
“That [Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte II] is ready. We’re ready to announce. That date will be announced this week.
“[Josh Warrington vs Can Xu] is ready to go, baby.”
Prior to Hearn’s comments and lockdown announcement, BBBofC chief Robert Smith joined talkSPORT to discuss the situation.
“We need the doctors, paramedics, anaesthetists and neurosurgeons,” he explained.
“These people, although registered with us to work on boxing tournaments, also work for the NHS.
“God forbid anything goes wrong at a boxing show, and luckily it doesn’t happen very often, we have to go to the intensive care unit with a boxer.
“They are extremely busy at the present time. We felt that, after talking to our doctors, we should have a little think about things.
“We address it, we come back later and I’m hopeful we can get back in February…
“I’ve got a doctors’ meeting next week. How long it goes into February I do not know.
“I think the first weekend we can run a show is the 6th, it’d be great if we could do then.
“If we have to go back a bit further, I don’t know, but I’m not a doctor.
“Sometimes you get advice you don’t like, I’ve got advice I don’t like, but I’m taking it from people who are more qualified than I am.”