Due to Covid-19 (coronavirus), Shakur Stevenson and Mick Conlan will participate in events over the coming days without any fans present in the arena, Top Rank has confirmed.
As World Boxing News warned early on Thursday, boxing events are set to drop like flies due to the ongoing pandemic.
Stevenson’s WBO title defense against Miguel Marriaga becomes the first world championship fight to be affected.
Conlan’s takes place three days later on St. Patrick’s Day. It will also be staged in an empty Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Releasing information to WBN, Top Rank outlined the situation.
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also to ensure the health and safety of boxing fans and the fight participants, Top Rank announced today that the March 14 and March 17 events at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden will proceed without spectators.
“The only individuals granted access to the events will be essential production. Plus support staff. In addition to fighters. Also necessary team members, and credentialed media.
“Both events will still be shown live on their respective ESPN platforms.
“As for future events, Top Rank is consulting with its venue partners and will make a determination in due course.
“Full refunds for tickets purchased for the March 14 and March 17 events will be available at the point of purchase.”
More bouts will almost certainly follow as countries begin to lockdown in the hope of halting the spread of the disease.
Italy has thus far taken the brunt of the virus. The situation is becoming dire for those in self-isolation.
It’s been revealed online by those housed with family that some relatives are not being dealt with by Italian authorities – even why they die.
Actor Luca Franzese, who worked on the TV Show Gomorrah, revealed his sister Teresa, 47, passed away from the disease. After over 24 hours he’d received no help.
It’s yet to be uncovered just how devastating COVID-19 will be for everyone. More will unfold in the weeks and months to come.
The fear of the unknown could stop all crowd gatherings from taking place. We could eventually see a worldwide shutdown in the worst-case scenario.
Right now, whether boxing matches go ahead of not pales into insignificance when it comes to the health of the world’s population.