A final nail in the coffin of boxing for the next few months came as the United States and the United Kingdom, two of the sport’s most prominent countries, confirmed bans on public events and the attendance of medical officers.
As World Boxing News first reported last week when some were convinced we could figure out a way on not canceling the sport for a while, there would be no events taking place until at least June.
WBN even stated we could see a shutdown continue to Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev and beyond. Something that firmly remains a possibility.
UK officials put an end to all boxing in the immediate future as they consider requests to hold events behind closed doors.
With doctors held back from attending by the respective governments, it’s certainly not going to allow any events to go ahead.
Sadly, like most of the world, live world-class boxing on TV is canceled.
Below are all the respective confirmations from the major players in the sport:
BRITISH BOXING BOARD OF CONTROL
With regard to the above and the statement made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, all public tournaments under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control are unfortunately canceled.
Further consideration of the matter will take place at the beginning of April.
We have a number of requests for tournaments to be held behind closed doors. However, the practicality and logistics will be considered fully following advice from Board Medical Officers.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Top Rank has postponed all events scheduled for March and April. We are monitoring the situation closely. We will reschedule the shows as soon as it’s safe and reasonable to do so.
“The health and safety of our fighters, staff and ESPN’s incredible production team is the most important thing as we plan our next steps,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
“We look forward to the day when we can bring our loyal fans world-class boxing once again. But exercising caution is the most prudent thing to do at this moment.”
PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS
Due to the growing concerns over COVID-19, Premier Boxing Champions scheduled events for March and April have been canceled. It will be rescheduled for a later date.
At this time there’s no information regarding future shows.
“The health and safety of the boxers, fans and those working the events are of utmost importance to us,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions and lead promoter for the canceled shows.
“We are all disappointed. As we get more information we will address future events.”
Following the guidelines and advisory measures announced by both the Government and The British Boxing Board of Control, Queensberry Promotions feel it would be inappropriate to proceed with any forthcoming Boxing promotions in front of live audiences during April and May.
The Coronavirus situation is evolving rapidly. We will continue to follow the Government’s guidelines to ensure the Health and Safety of the paying public, staff and the participants.
MATCHROOM BOXING USA
Matchroom Boxing USA’s event at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Friday April 17 has been canceled. This is due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Former World Super-Lightweight champions Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker were due to meet in Maryland. Along with undisputed World Welterweight champion Cecilia Brækhus defending her titles against Jessica McCaskill.
Croatian Heavyweight Filip Hrgović was set to take on Jerry Forrest. Olympic gold medal man Daniyar Yeleussinov had his sights set on former unified World champion Julius Indongo.
Matchroom Boxing USA is exploring alternative options around staging the event. They include a rescheduled date.
Olympic Boxing qualifiers were halted in mid-flow this week as fears grow for the next months and the eventual Games in Tokyo this summer.
In light of significant recent changes in the Coronavirus situation. Plus growing concerns relating to the welfare of athletes, officials, staff and volunteers, the IOC’s Boxing Task Force (BTF) has taken the decision to cancel the rest of the Road to Tokyo Boxing Qualifier from Tuesday 17 March 2020.
The decision has been made in conjunction with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Boxing Road to Tokyo Qualifying event amid the increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures. These are impacting on the travel plans of athletes, teams and officials and affecting their ability to return home.
The LOC is extremely disappointed for all of the boxers. They have been training hard. They were looking forward to competing in this event here in London. We are sad for all the staff and volunteers who have been working tirelessly to deliver an outstanding event.
The LOC is continuing to work closely with all the international teams and officials to assist with accommodation and travels to ensure they can return home from the UK.
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES
WBSS Cruiserweight Final in Latvia postponed to May 16 due to COVID-19
The WBSS Cruiserweight Final between Mairis Briedis and Yuniel Dorticos scheduled for March 21 in Riga is postponed to May 16 due to the current situation with the Coronavirus.
Local authorities in Latvia have adopted comprehensive measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, events with more than 200 people present have been prohibited until April 14.
In regard to the risk of infection, the local authorities have concluded that the WBSS Cruiserweight final is a particularly high-risk event. Not only for the athletes themselves but also for all local and foreign staff involved in the organization and conduct of the event.
For this reason, the WBSS Cruiserweight final between Mairis Briedis and Yuniel Dorticos cannot take place as planned. The new date planned for the Final in Arena Riga is May 16.
“However, this is, of course, dependent on the current restrictions being lifted.
Due to the global spread of COVID-19, Team Sauerland and Universum Boxpromotion have canceled their upcoming night of boxing on April 4th in Hamburg.
For both promoters, the health and safety of the athletes and everyone else present is the top priority. Even an event without spectators exposes them to unnecessary risks.
We thank everyone for their understanding. We will work with our partners to determine when and in what form the event can be rescheduled.
GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS
“This morning, we were informed by the California State Athletic Commission that all combative sports events have been canceled for the month of March due to concerns regarding COVID-19,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman, and CEO of Golden Boy.
“Therefore, our March 19 and March 28 events, which were scheduled at Avalon Hollywood and the Forum respectively, have officially been postponed.
“We will work with state and local officials. As well as our venue and broadcast partners to determine the best course of action with respect to these and other upcoming events. Both in California and elsewhere.”
“The health and safety of our fighters, fans, employees, officials, and partners is of the utmost importance to us. We thank them for their support. And their understanding during this time. We will communicate further plans when the time is appropriate.”
“Hennessy Sports has today postponed for the foreseeable future its forthcoming events following a directive from the British Boxing Board of Control.
“It states that all tournaments under its jurisdiction are cancelled. It comes after the announcement by the Prime Minister yesterday on the Coronavirus (Covid-19).”
World of Boxing Russia, who are largely unaffected by the coronavirus. They could be a couple of weeks behind everyone else.