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Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin: Eddie Hearn reveals why fans are snubbing Wembley Stadium fight

Mirror logo Mirror 14/09/2018 David Anderson
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn speaks to the media during a press conference at The Courthouse Hotel on September 13, 2018 in London, England. © Ben Hoskins/Getty Images Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn speaks to the media during a press conference at The Courthouse Hotel on September 13, 2018 in London, England.

Promoter Eddie Hearn admits Anthony Joshua’s clash with Alexander Povetkin has been a harder sell than his previous stadium fights.

Wembley is unlikely to sell out for the WBA Super, IBF and WBO heavyweight title contest on Saturday week, although Hearn says the crowd should still be a very healthy 80,000.

The Matchroom MD says Russian Povetkin, who is the WBA’s mandatory challenger, is not as appealing for some fans, who hoped to see Joshua fight WBC champ Deontay Wilder next.

a man standing in a room © Credits: PA Wire
a man standing in front of a crowd © Credits: Action Images via Reuters

“It has been slower than it was for the Wladimir Klitschko (also at Wembley) and Joseph Parker (in Cardiff's Principality Stadium) fights,” said Hearn. “We have had to work a bit harder this time. Normally when you go on sale with an Anthony Joshua fight it just goes 'Ping!'

“The thing that aggravates me is that anyone in boxing I have spoken to says it’s a tough fight, whereas the man on the street goes to me, 'When’s the Wilder fight?’

a close up of smoke © Credits: PA
a large crowd at night © Credits: Getty

“I say, 'He has to get through Povetkin first' and they say, 'He’ll knock him [Povetkin] out’. But who knows?

“If Povetkin had come over and tried to nut Joshua at the press conference, we would have sold out immediately.

“There are a lot of people saying, 'I'll come in April for the Wilder fight.'"

a man standing in front of a crowd © Credits: PA
Alexander Povetkin standing on a baseball field © Credits: Getty

Hearn says the attendance will fall short of the record 90,000 for Joshua-Klitschko because 15,000 tickets must be sold as part of a coach package to help cut down on traffic congestion.

“The only tickets that won’t go are the 15,000 we could only sell as part of a coach package, that was part of the deal,” he said.

“We have done 3,000-4,000 — people just don’t want to come by coach.

“But we’ve still sold 80,000 tickets, and Anthony has sold over 300,000 tickets for his last four fights. The VIP tickets, at £2,000 each, sold out in 20 minutes.”

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