Light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde 19-1 (18) has revealed his father has passed away from coronavirus.
The 28-year-old Brit made the news public on his Instagram feed early on Sunday morning, adding his dad was fit and healthy.
Yarde used the post to encourage everyone to stay home to avoid further spread of the virus as the global pandemic takes hold.
“I’m a very private person and TBH I’m still in shock but maybe this can help people stay home,” Yarde wrote.
“My Dad passed away from this virus yesterday and he was fit with no health issues. The more people go out and mingle the longer this isolation will last and the more it will spread.
“I’m not a doctor but I do know if you stay home you are less likely to catch it or pass it on. It’s seriously not worth the risk.”
Yarde’s promotor Frank Warren expressed his condolences on social media.
“Frank Warren and everyone at Queensberry Promotions would like to express sincere condolences to Anthony Yarde and his family after the untimely passing of his father,” Warren posted on Twitter.
“Coronavirus is an issue affecting all of us, but that doesn’t make the individual casualties any less tragic.
“We hope that his fans listen to Anthony’s heartfelt plea for people to take the government’s advice seriously so we can try and minimise the suffering of others.”
Yarde was scheduled to face Lyndon Arthur for the Commonwealth 175-pound belt at The O2 in London on the undercard of the heavyweight clash between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce on April 11, but that card was cancelled due to the coronavirus.
His lone loss came to Sergey Kovalev in a challenge for the WBO light heavyweight title in Russia in August 2019.