Eddie Hearn announces four fights at Wembley in the hope of fans returning

Hearn is hoping for up to 2,000 tickets to be sold as a trial ahead of Joshua's heavyweight world title defence.

Promoter Eddie Hearn is looking to increase the pressure on the return of fans after confirming he will host four shows at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

The first of the four events will see the heavyweight blockbuster between Oleksandr Usyk and Derek Chisora on October 31 followed by Pound for Pound superstar Katie Taylor, who has a mandatory defence against Miriam Gutierrez on November 14.

Dillian Whyte aims to avenge his defeat to Alexander Povetkin the following weekend before controversial fighter Billy Joe Saunders concludes the four-week stay at the SSE Arena with a WBO super middleweight title defence against either John Ryder, Martin Murray or Rocky Fielding.

html) */?>

Saunders is scheduled to return to the ring during the same weekend as Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce, although Sky may push the fight back to avoid clashing with the BT Sport event.

"I am planning the fights with no fans at the moment," Hearn told BoxingScene. "We will have the same venue for four events and just keep canvassing, asking for 1,500 or 2,000 fans to be let in.

"I don't like to go into big arenas and seeing loads of empty seats everywhere. We have to get creative with the production, but the plan is to fill them up or at least certainly get some bums on seats.

"Early doors I hope we can get 1,000 in, show the Government how we can get it done safely and from there escalating to AJ."

Will fans return to boxing events before the end of the year?

Hearn, who alongside father Barry Hearn tested positive for coronavirus, is hopeful of fans being allowed back in to watch boxing after a concert in London was given the green light to allow 4,700 socially-distanced seats for December 5.

"There is a music event approved the week before AJ," he said. "That would suggest we might be able to do that number for AJ, but that is subject to them not changing their mind. We had the Crucible, 400 people for every day for the World Snooker Championships and after one day they closed it down.

"The pressure is definitely mounting for fans to be allowed back, but on the other hand they are talking about closing pubs and restaurants," Hearn said. "So how can you close pubs and restaurants but allow people to go to sporting events?

"Sooner or later they are going to have a decision on their hands. Do you open things up and put in what measures you can, or do you close everything down again and everything could be screwed?"

Latest Boxing Videos