COVID-19 testing, private quarantine and PPV: When can boxing resume?

We all know boxing is on hold for the foreseeable future. It’s a sport that relies heavily on medical support and stringent safety measures at all times.

As the world battles the effects of COVID-19, our discipline will be one of the very last to finally resume due to the need for hospital staff and doctors.

Riding the coronavirus curve to its imminent peak over the next few days, it will take weeks for any sort of normal life to get back on track.

At present, hopeful promoters are pinning their earnings in June or July for their schedules to kick-on. But realistically, that won’t be happening until later this year or early next.

Testing is set to be ramped up after this disease hits the other side of the hill. That’s when governments around the world will then, and only then, consider relaxing lockdown measures.

Getting out of our quarantines seems to be at least three to four weeks away. Maybe more judging by the worst affected areas.

But the prospect of sporting events taking place with massive crowds of people attending could be over six months away due to this pandemic.

So where does that leave those hoping to stage lucrative fights in the interim?

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Well, one option would be to begin private testing of all fighters once it’s widely available. That should ideally come hand-in-hand with keeping boxers who are in camps, together in the same facility.

As some countries are worse affected than others, it could be just a case of the higher-profile bouts – the ones which can actually make a turnover – taking place first.

This doesn’t mean lesser-known boxers will miss out, they’ll just need to be housed in the same building, preferably where the fight will end up being televised.

Whether this has to be on a private island or out of the bigger cities will be up to the powers that be in conjunction with health authorities. The one big stipulation would be that any venue staging an event does have medical facilities.

This is a factor that can only see benefits once the crisis is under some sort of initial control.

Announcing a card and immediately separating those participants, say 20 competitors for testing, would be where we could, at least start proceedings.

Testing and then congregating together could ensure immediate quarantine conditions before work can begin on production.


The way things are right now, having fans attending, even in a few weeks or months, could still be too early. Therefore, every show occurring would potentially have to have some sort of charge attached to it.

Pay-Per-View has to come into play to make up for lost ground, possibly on every single event that happens under these conditions. If anything, this will just be to pay for the build-up surroundings alone.

But, providing this can be done, there is light at the end of the tunnel in 2020. Otherwise, the whole year could be a washout from the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder rematch onwards.

Safety is paramount, although testing is the eventual key to resumption. Maybe even just allow those who have the antibodies in their system – for now – to compete.

Judging by the numbers currently in circulation and rising, that could be around 20% of those currently signed to promotional rosters.

So, we have a potential solution, a solution relying heavily on backing from respective medical officers.

If we don’t work this out, boxing could be completely off the menu this year.

Let’s hope the former happens and fans can begin to see some sort of normality as the boxers finally do what they do best.

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