It seems if Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn didn’t have bad luck with his heavyweight fighters, he wouldn’t have any luck at all. This after his revelation on Monday night that the opponent for Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight debut Saturday night is now in jeopardy.
That’s because former professional kick-boxer turned heavyweight fighter Tyrone Spong has tested positive for a banned substance with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA). Hearn released the information via social media:
We have been contacted by VADA to inform us that there has been an adverse finding in Tyrone Spong’s test. It has been sent to the State of Illinois commission and further information will be released in the morning. We have reserve opponents standing by.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) October 7, 2019
Hearn further revealed that the Illinois Boxing Commission will have final say-so over what to do with Spong’s positive test. Sprong has quickly amassed a 14-0, 13 KOs record in just over three years in the ring.
Usyk (16-0 12 KOs) is the headliner in the the Saturday night Matchroom/DAZN show from the Wintrust Arena in suburban Chicago. The former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion is moving up in attempt to get in on the heavyweight title picture and the fight is also to be shown on PPV by Sky Sports in Europe.
Hearn promises to have a selection of possible replacements ready to go.
This is news compounds what was learned last week. That’s when New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker sustained an illness from a spider bite and will not be able to fight fellow-countryman Dereck Chisora in their scheduled 12 round co-main event for October 26th. Hearn is still scrambling to find a replacement fighter for Chisora.
And that comes on the heels of his previous Heavyweight public relations disaster from this past summer. That’s when top British heavyweight Dillian Whyte tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs prior to his 12-round decision win with Oscar Rivas.
Only different from Monday’s revelation about Sprong, Hearn and Whyte’s camp never revealed publicly or privately to Rivas about the positive test.
And, Whyte’s likely suspension by the British Boxing Board of Control is currently in limbo, because he refused to participate in the testing of his B sample, while disputing the process.
So, that brings us back to Usyk and Saturday night. If Sprong is done, then whom will Hearn find on just a few days notice to step in that will be credible?
It’s one of just several heavyweight messes the British promoter is dealing with, currently.