BOXING CORONAVIRUS – The situation looks bleak regarding big boxing matches going ahead in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Firstly, a 30-day travel ban confirmed by the United States President Donald Trump was announced on Wednesday. It’s the clearest indication that fight fans could be left disappointed.
Any fights involving European fighters needing to make their way across the Atlantic will certainly be scrapped. Replacement opponents could be brought in to stave off some refunding.
The good news for UK fans is that their native boxers are allowed to 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 amounts of people could soon be outlawed for at least a couple of 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 real soon.
Next week’s World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final is going ahead as planned, so far. But this could alter over the course of the next few days.
It will be interesting to see what stance Chief Boxing Officer Kalle Sauerland takes considering the bout has already been held up for considerable months.
This weekend, Shakur Stevenson kicks off a New York double-header at Madison Square Garden which is due to end on March 17 with a St. Patrick’s Day bonanza topped by Michael Conlan.
But the binning of the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Wednesday 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 in time, the most affected could be those bouts set for between March 17th and April 4th as the world attempts to get a grip on the spread of COVID-19.
Should cases continue to soar, those contests due to happen from April to July could also be in bother.
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
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At the very least, those listed could certainly 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.