Josh Warrington must wait for Can Xu title fight as Eddie Hearn plans new shows

Josh Warrington will have to wait for his unification clash with Can Xu.

The IBF featherweight champion was due to face the WBA titleholder on February 13.

But talks stalled this week on a few issues in the deal and Xu has now decided to wait as he doesn't want to fight in an empty arena.

Promoter Eddie Hearn is hopeful the clash will take place in April or May.

Warrington, 30, will still return to the ring next month though with Hearn now working on bringing in a new opponent.

It is likely to be a voluntary defence of his IBF title against a top-15 ranked fighter.

Hearn is hoping to have a deal done by Friday at 6pm.

That is because Leeds man will still kick off a run of shows for Matchroom which will be announced on Friday.

They include Dillian Whyte's heavyweight rematch with Alexander Povetkin and Josh Kelly's European welterweight clash against David Avanesyan.

Whyte was expected to face Povetkin in November until the Russian was downed by Covid-19 and spent time in hospital.

While Kelly and Avanesyan has been delayed a number of times, most recently from January 30 after the British Boxing Board of Control cancelled any shows this month.

But the boxing authorities have confirmed the sport can continue from mid November.

Lawrence Okolie's WBO cruiserweight title clash with Krzysztof Glowacki is also expected to be confirmed as one of the headline bouts.

Okolie was due to face the Pole on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's win over Kubrat Pulev in December.

But Glowacki tested positive for Covid-19 before he travelled to the UK so the bout was called off and Okolie beat Nikodem Jezewski instead.

The venue for Hearn's run of shows through February, March and April has yet to be decided as they await to see the Covid-19 numbers in hospitals in different regions.

Matchroom were looking to return to Wembley Arena but there are doubts that is possible with the pressures on the hospitals in the area at the moment.

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