Eddie Hearn has an audacious plan to bring boxing back in Britain – by staging championship fights in the 15-acre garden headquarters of Matchroom Sport in Brentwood, Essex.
Promoter Hearn plans to kick the sequence of events off in mid-July with a world-title fight between WBC super featherweight champion Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas and a month later, Dillian Whyte's WBC interim heavyweight title fight against Alexander Povetkin across four weeks of boxing.
The events will have an attendance of just 90 people, expected to air on Sky Sports and be named Matchroom Fight Camp. "Financially this will be painful for us but after the momentum we have worked so hard to build over the past 10 years, I'm not going to let boxing just dribble back. While other guys go with arenas and empty studios, ours will look very different," Hearn told The Daily Mail.
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"Just imagine it. It is summer, the house is all lit up, you can see Canary Wharf in the distance and fireworks are going off. Then over the hill walk Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin for a massive tear up on my lawn."
"We cannot just bring boxing back with a dark studio," Hearn said. "We have built our product on the razzmatazz, the sexiness and the drama. It has all been about building that moment for a fight, so we cannot afford to just bring people out like a gameshow.
"We want to create a gladiatorial environment that will not only ensure compelling viewing but will also ensure fighters can perform at the highest level."
A local hotel is said to be the venue where fighters, officials and staff will be isolated and tested for Covid-19 prior to the event. Discussions are ongoing with the British Boxing Board of Control, Brentwood Council and the WBC sanctioning body to make it a reality.