Barry Hearn, the 72-year-old promoter, has tested positive for coronavirus six months after suffering a minor heart attack.
Hearn, the chairman of Matchroom, the World Snooker Tour and the Professional Darts Corporatio, is asymptomatic and is now self-isolating.
His son Eddie tested positive for Covid-19 last week and left the Matchroom Boxing bio-secure bubble ahead of the Briton Joshua Buatsi’s bout with Marko Kalic last night.
Matchroom released a statement saying: “Matchroom chairman Barry Hearn has tested positive for Covid-19 and begun a period of self-isolation in accordance with government guidelines. Barry feels well and is not displaying any symptoms. Additional staff and family members have also been tested and all found negative.”
In Las Vegas, meanwhile, the American Jose Zepeda climbed off the canvas four times to beat Ivan Baranchyk of Belarusia in a remarkable light-welterweight fight that saw eight knock-downs in five rounds. Zepeda was felled twice in the opening round at the MGM Grand before dropping Baranchyk in each of the third and fourth rounds. Despite being put down in the fifth, the American ended proceedings in the same round with a savage straight left.
Zepeda, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in a 2015 loss to Manchester’s Terry Flanagan for the WBO lightweight title, claimed the lightly regarded WBC silver title at 140lbs. “I feel great because I won the fight,” he said. “It was a hard fight, and I’m thinking, ‘Man, boxing is hard. It’s no easy game’. Boxing, it’s tough, and you have to give it 100 per cent because it’s a hard sport.
“Both of us are climbing up, and somebody had to stay. I was able to win the fight, and I told him, ‘Thanks for the fight. It was a great fight’. “I know I’m tough. I didn’t know how tough I was. I showed myself, too. I’ve never been in a fight like this. It was a great learning experience.”
While Zepeda improved his professional record to 33-2, Baranchyk fell to 20-2 and has now lost two of his last three fights, having been outpointed by Scotland’s Josh Taylor in their world title showdown in May last year.