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Hearn will offer free tickets to NHS staff



Blown away: Eddie Hearn has been amazed by NHS workers

Blown away: Eddie Hearn has been amazed by NHS workers

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Blown away: Eddie Hearn has been amazed by NHS workers

Eddie Hearn has vowed to reward NHS staff fighting the coronavirus pandemic with free tickets to all his promotion's major boxing shows over the next 12 months.

Matchroom Boxing will donate 200 tickets per show, which is set to include Anthony Joshua's next world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev and Dereck Chisora's clash with Oleksandr Usyk.

It is possible that those bouts will be delayed due to the pandemic, however.

Hearn said: "We've been thinking about how we can say thank you to the incredible NHS workers that have selflessly helped everybody through this Covid-19 crisis.

"They've been absolutely amazing and from our side at Matchroom Boxing we are announcing a new scheme for when we get back to our live shows, where we will be giving away 200 tickets to NHS workers for every Saturday Fight Night and PPV show around the country from hopefully this summer forward.

"We can't thank you enough for all of your support. NHS workers, you have been absolutely incredible, and you are the pride of our country.

"Stay well everyone, stay safe, stay at home and we'll get through this soon."

Meanwhile, British WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has issued an apology after a video emerged of him giving advice to men on how to hit their female partners during the coronavirus lockdown.

Footage showed the 30-year-old working out on a punchbag while talking about how to react if "your old woman is giving you mouth" and "she's coming at you, spitting a bit of venom in your face".

The boxer then continued to hit the punchbag while describing how to "hit her on the chin" and then "finish her off".

Saunders quickly apologised for "offending any women" after a fierce backlash on social media.

"I would never condone domestic violence and if I saw a man touch a woman I would smash him to pieces myself," Saunders said in a post on Twitter. "Apologies if I offended any women, stay blessed."

It is the boxer's second public apology in a fortnight after it was revealed he made a call to an airline, alleging concerns over a potential coronavirus infection, which caused his coach Ben Davison and fellow world champion Josh Taylor to be removed from the flight.

Saunders, who was close to agreeing a multi-million-pound bout against Canelo Alvarez in May before the coronavirus pandemic, has had a long history with controversy and was fined £100,000 by the British Board of Boxing Control after footage emerged of him appearing to offer a woman drugs in 2018.

Belfast Telegraph