The long-awaited fight between WBO heavyweight number one Oleksandr Usyk 17-0 (13) and veteran Dereck Chisora 32-9 (23) is about to be finalized.
The fight was originally scheduled to take place at the O2 Arena in London on May 23 before the global coronavirus pandemic struck.
Without a live gate the fight looked dead in the water, but Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said both boxers were keen to move forward with the fight and are working on a revised deal that would see the fight unfold.
“We’re close,” Hearn said Sky Sports.
“I mean both guys understand that without a door to the O2 there’s a lot less revenue generated from this show, but both guys love this fight.
“We are trying to do the right calculations. We’re trying to get the right numbers to get these guys to cross the line.
“I have to say, fair play for both of them, they’re trying to find a way.
“Usyk tells me, Chisora tells me, David Haye phones me all the time:” Let’s find a way to do this fight, it’s great for boxing “.
“But we’re handcuffed and bound by the fact that no fans are allowed at the moment.
“But if I’m a gambler I’m a little cheeky in every way Usyk-Chisora crosses the line.
Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 33, moved up to heavyweight last year to stop late replacement Chazz Witherspoon at Wintrust Arena in Chicago last October.
As the former undisputed heavyweight champion, the WBO installed him as the number one contender for the throne of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Joshua 23-1 (21) must make a mandatory title defense against IBF number one Kubrat Pulev 28-1 (14) before likely facing WBC champion Tyson Fury in a two-fight streak next year .
Fury 30-0-1 (21) will have to overtake Deontay Wilder 42-1-1 (41) in their third fight for this to happen.
Usyk has previously said he’s not interested in stepping down to allow the Joshua-Fury fight to happen, further complicating the heavyweight landscape.
“Of course, yeah, he’s not straying,” Hearn said. “He wants the fight – Joshua’s winner against Pulev for the WBO world title.”
But Hearn warned Usyk could be upset by Chisora in the same way Dillian Whyte was on the wrong side of a knockout at the hands of Russian veteran Alexander Povetkin last month.
“Maybe Mr. Chisora puts a key in the works like Alexander Povetkin did. Anything can happen, ”he says.
“Usyk thinks he could come out, get a good win under his belt in the heavyweight division, then fight for a world title in 2021.”
Londoner Chisora, 36, was last in action in October when he knocked out David Price in four rounds at the O2 Arena.
He’s 5-1 in his last six fights with his only loss following an 11th-round stoppage against Whyte in a close and competitive fight.
Usyk became a household name when he won the first World Boxing Super Series to unify the four major world title belts in July 2018.
He has only fought twice since.