EDDIE HEARN has launched his bid to bring fans back to British boxing.
The Matchroom promoter just held a thrilling four weeks of action behind closed doors in the gardens of his Essex office, to comply with Government Covid-19 guidelines.
And Hearn believes his Sunday September 27 show, headlined by light-heavyweight ace Joshua Buatsi, is the perfect chance to get bums back on seats.
And – if the London show proves another success – it will pave the way for Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev to have a money-spinning live gate in mid-December.
He said: “We have applied to the Government for a pilot event with however many fans any might approve.
“It only be 500 or 1,000 but by October – all being well with no spikes or anything like that – we think that’s when real crowds will start coming back in.”
Hearn expects to take his lead from the Premier League once it resumes on September 12.
But he knows the winter chill and guaranteed rain will make boxing’s comeback more d-icy.
Hearn added: “We will follow on from the football but, because we will have to go inside for the rest of our shows, the guidelines will be different.
“Like the darts, the shows will be at night and supporters like to have a beer, a cuddle and a sing-song when they watch.
“We will aim to go in football’s slip stream and gradually increase from 500, to 1,000 then a few thousand and eventually and hopefully a packed O2 for AJ.”
Buatsi, 27, is expected to have a tune-up fight – after 13 months out – with a view to an all-British cracker in 2021.
Hearn also promotes 35-year-old Callum Johnson and respectful hype between the Boston veteran and Ghana-born Buatsi has been building nicely.
The ongoing issues with travel and quarantine are set to push forward plenty of domestic dust-ups including this banger.
Dillian Whyte-managed Richard Riakporhe is also expected to be on the card as the red-hot cruiserweight looks to add more belts to his British title.
The unusual Sunday showdown is likely to avoid a clash with Scotland’s unified super-lightweight king Josh Taylor’s defence on Saturday 26.