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COVID-19 / the coronavirus: A Life Without Boxing

Boxing and sports fans around the world are having to get used to the fact that COVID-19, or the coronavirus, is altering our very way of life.

As the pandemic takes hold, every major sporting event is being monitored, potentially over the next few weeks and months.


Professional combat has already been hit hard and fast, with only the imminent ShoBox card left standing after a spate of cancellations.

Beyond this weekend, though, it could become a hell of a lot worse.

Every single scheduled event is likely to be called off or postponed – at the very least. Fans could be set for a long time without the sport they love.

Despite Frank Warren issuing a rebuttal to those who state the Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce card goes ahead as planned on April 11, the truth is it’s far too early to tell.

In all likeliness, it could become a week-by-week cancellation policy. This weekend we lost the majority of big fights. We won’t know until early next week how the next clutch of dates will be affected.


It all depends on how the coronavirus spreads and whether a vaccine or breakthrough can be found.

At this point, nobody can be sure of any event over the next few months. Right up to and possibly beyond the Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev clash in London on June 20.

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Canelo still hasn’t announced his expected May 2 showdown in Las Vegas. And with growing concerns over the spread in Nevada, Golden Boy could be waiting it out until finally confirming.

The Mexican superstar is in training, but it will only take one positive test from in and around his camp for the whole show to be scrapped. This is the case for every single boxing event around the world.

With one of five of us expected to get COVID-19. That means the vast majority of anything currently planned is precarious.



Late on Thursday, another two bouts fell foul to the disease after Top Rank made the decision to postpone Shakur Stevenson vs Miguel Marriaga and Mick Conlan’s St Patrick’s Day outing.

Initially, Bob Arum had stated the shows would go ahead without fans before eventually succumbing to the inevitable.

“After close consultation with the New York State Athletic Commission, it has been determined that Saturday’s and Tuesday’s events cannot proceed. This is in light of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis,” they said.

“Top Rank will work with the Commission to reschedule the events as soon as it is safe for all involved.

“The health and safety of the fighters and their teams, and everyone involved in the promotion of these events, necessitated taking this step.

“We thank everyone for their understanding. We will continue to work with our broadcast/venue partners and state and local officials to decide when the time is right to return.”

Sadly, this kind of announcement will become the norm until the worldwide pandemic is under some sort of stabilization.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay