WITH James DeGale having to travel to America for his shot at a world title, the bill he would have headlined on April 25 at the O2 in London is likely to be postponed until May. That means Lee Selby will have to wait another month for his shot at IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich.
“[It will] probably move to May,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The one thing we’ve got to sort is the Selby-Gradovich fight. I tried to switch that to Wales but not permitted, they didn’t want to go to Wales. They didn’t mind London but they don’t want to go to his backyard, so probably switch to May.”
May 23 or May 30 is likely to be the rescheduled date and additional world title fights could be added to it. Kevin Mitchell might get his tilt at WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares and Matchroom could even get Tony Bellew a shot at world gold. “Mitchell-Linares, possibly Bellew in a world title fight,” Eddie continued. “May 23 is a possible date. [Selby] is getting home advantage so it’s either that or go to Russia. If it’s an extra four weeks it is what it is, you’ve just got to deal with it, you’ve got to be a pro.”
For Tony Bellew’s world title fight, Hearn said they were in talks with all the major belt-holders, Grigory Drozd, Denis Lebedev, Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Marco Huck, saying of Bellew, “He’s one of the biggest names in the division so everybody wants to fight him.”
Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua was due to fight Kevin Johnson on that April 25 date, a fight which could be postponed again. It had originally been scheduled for January 31 but Joshua injured his back. The rising heavyweight star will first fight on April 4 in Newcastle. “April 4 still looks great for him. He sparred 10 rounds [last week] so April 4 and we might put him in Birmingham on May 9 maybe. But probably wait till the 23rd or 30th,” said Hearn. “It’ll be an eight rounder. He’s been out for nearly six months, five months when he boxes again.”