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Boxing Coronavirus: Big fights at risk due to ongoing crisis

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The situation looks bleak regarding big boxing matches going ahead amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Firstly, a 30-day travel ban confirmed by United States President Donald Trump was announced on Wednesday. It’s the most unambiguous indication that fight fans could be left disappointed.

Any fights involving European fighters needing to make their way across the Atlantic will undoubtedly be scrapped. Replacement opponents could be brought in to stave off some refunding.

The good news for UK fans is that their native boxers can fly stateside, meaning the vast majority are thus far unaffected.

But the coronavirus situation on the ground is beginning to tell. Sporting events are being canceled across the board. Therefore, staging boxing shows with vast numbers of people could soon be outlawed for at least a few months.

Secondly, recently confirmed Pay-Per-View shows involving Frank Warren and Matchroom Boxing are in considerable jeopardy. They may have to be pushed back until later in the year.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn has already ruled out staging any fights behind closed doors, meaning the boxing schedule could look pretty bleak soon.

Next week’s World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final is going as planned. But this could alter over the next few days.

It will be interesting to see Chief Boxing Officer Kalle Sauerland’s stance, considering the bout has already been held up for many months.

This weekend, Shakur Stevenson kicks off a New York double-header at Madison Square Garden, ending on March 17 with a St. Patrick’s Day bonanza topped by Michael Conlan.

But the binning of the Wednesday St. Patrick’s Day parade has now put the Irishman’s return to action up in the air. New York officials are monitoring the situation carefully.

UPDATE: Conlan’s clash and the Stevenson bout now go ahead behind closed doors.

At this point, the most affected could be those bouts set for between March 17 and April 4 as the world attempts to get a grip on the spread of COVID-19.

Should cases continue to soar, those contests from April to July could also be in bother.

They include:

Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce

Jamal James vs Thomas Dulorme

Naoya Inoue vs Johnriel Casimero

Josh Taylor vs Apinun Khongsong

Canelo (Unconfirmed event)

Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr.

Jose Ramirez vs Viktor Postol

Claressa Shields vs Marie Dicaire

Nordine Ouabaali vs Nonito Donaire

Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin

Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora

Jamel Herring vs Carl Frampton

Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev

At the very least, those listed could indeed be postponed for a couple of months, dependent on the advice from the World Health Organization.

It’s a highly delicate process to contain such a potent virus. COVID-19 is seriously contagious. If not the most deadly the planet has ever seen.

The risk to older people with underlying health issues has to be paramount to the ongoing containment as people are urged to take sanitation precautions for the foreseeable future.

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