Boxing and Capacity Crowds: The Coronavirus Conundrum
World Boxing News, as usual, is keeping abreast of the latest news regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and when our sport may be able to fully resume.
At the moment, August is penciled in for the potential and gradual possibility of boxing taking place in some capacity. But right now, crowded places are increasingly looking like a sore point.
Hopes that the United States is attempting to open up some states in the coming weeks should be followed by the United Kingdom doing likewise in mid-May.
This means some essential workers will be able to go back to the jobs respective governments had ruled out as the pandemic took hold.
There’s also talk of allowing some of the lesser at-risk age groups then solidifying the workforce in both countries. With the US and UK being two of the worst affected nations, these models should be able to be enforced in other countries before then.
Despite the hope of a movement to normality being on the cards for the summer, this is going to be a massively slow process – especially for boxing.
The need for medical staff at events will require patients from promoters, with small hall organizers expected to be the worst affected. It could become a bidding war for paramedic attention at shows, which put those with the most clout in the best position moving forward.
But even then, August or September is still the most realistic time for anything coming to fruition – event-wise.
Once society does begin to emerge out of their homes, this coronavirus will have almost certainly have changed everyone’s perception of safety around them.
Will people even want to be in the same close proximity is one question? – Whether governments actually will allow this is another story.
Donald Trump has made it clear he wants things to go back to full capacity as soon as possible. There are huge downsides to this, according to many scientific expectations.
Right now, the fear is that the US President’s actions will prolong the presence of the disease stateside. It will subsequently push American shows into other lesser-hit states.
Florida wants to lead the way on that score. But hosting the likes of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III in the Sunshine State is an improbable happening at this point.
It all depends on how the likes of Las Vegas, New York, and California ease into a lifting of current limitations. It could be several months before any of the big three are ready to host events with capacity crowds.
Vegas has just over three thousand cases of the virus and is certainly one of those states being mention by Trump for re-opening soon. Not only for the sake of the US economy.
But experts say allowing that kind of close proximity in such mass at this point in time could cause relapse on the scale of New York.
For the UK, it’s highly likely London will need to be kept under tight control – at least until the fall (autumn). Even then, staging a 70,000 or 90,000 stadium blockbuster Pay-Per-View show is looking to be a non-starter in 2020.
Again, early in 2021, when the world moves towards universal control of COVID-19 with testing, contact tracing, and quarantine, will anything like a ‘normal life’ be readily available.
What we really need is a vaccine. And until that time comes, we are all playing the waiting game.
US BIG TIME BOXING STATES
WORST AFFECTED (as of April 15, 2020)
New York – 200,000+ cases
New Jersey 68,000+ cases