Hearn betting on Usyk vs Chisora showdown

Eddie Hearn is betting on the big Oleksandr Usyk vs Dereck Chisora heavyweight showdown being rescheduled for later this year.

Former cruiserweight king Usyk (17-0) had been due to face the veteran Chisora (32-9) in his second weight at heavyweight since moving up last year.

But that date was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and then October 31 had been pencilled as the landing spot for the rescheduled bout. Now everything is once again up in the air due to a renewed surge in cases and doubts over when meaningful crowds will be allowed back into UK arenas.

Hearn told Sky Sports: “We’re close. I mean both guys understand that without a gate at The O2, there’s significantly less revenue driven to that show, but both guys fancy that fight.”

Clearly the challenge for Hearn is the revised financial numbers based on not having a healthy live gate to fall back on, but he stressed both fighters are trying to find a compromise that suits everybody.

“We’re trying to get the maths right. We’re trying to get the numbers right to get these guys over the line. I have to say, fair play to both of them, they are trying to find a way.

“Usyk is saying to me, Chisora is saying to me, David Haye phones me all the time – ‘Let’s find a way to make this fight, it’s great for boxing.’

“But we are handcuffed and bound by the fact that no fans are allowed at the moment. But if I’m a betting man, I’m having a little cheeky each way punt that Usyk-Chisora gets over the line.”

Usyk, who has become something of a social media star in the UK recently with his posts calling out Chisora, is already the mandatory contender for Anthony Joshua’s WBO world heavyweight title. He could yet be a blocker to that massive Tyson Fury vs Joshua showdown happening next summer.

Chisora meanwhile, a veteran of so many big fights at the top level, is expected to give the slick southpaw his first meaningful test at the higher weight. Usyk’s only previous outing at heavyweight was a victory over Chazz Witherspoon late last year.