The vast majority of massive boxing and Pay-Per-View events are not going to take place until fans make their return to the sport.
For now, crowded places are likely to be off-limits for months. It’s leading to top organizers looking to fill the gap in the interim.
Taking a leaf out of the pro wrestling book, in-house arenas are set to be used for future events until the coronavirus outbreak is under some sort of control.
Top Rank has a ready-made gym in Las Vegas, whilst Matchroom also has similar in London. They are just two of the examples of where forthcoming bouts will be staged.
But a picture of what kind of shows will be put on in those venues is beginning to emerge.
One thing is for sure, you won’t be seeing Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora or Vasyl Lomachenko take place on this kind of fan-free attraction.
Judging by the words of promoters Bob Arum and Eddie Hearn, up and comers on their respective rosters will participate in stay-busy and domestic bouts until the big boys return with paying punters.
Arum told Crystina Poncher this week that he’d find it very difficult to put Lomachenko vs Lopez, a four-belt lightweight unification, in front of now audience whatsoever.
“It’s going to be very hard to do a Loma-Lopez fight without spectators,” Arum told Top Rank ring announcer Poncher.
“We are not going to be able to do a fight with Loma in any event until after the travel ban is lifted. This is since Loma, who was in the United States, went back to Ukraine to be at home.
“Then everything got shut down.
“I don’t see how you can do it without spectators,” he added.
Part 2 to come later this week. 👀
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) April 20, 2020
Likewise with Hearn, who stated ‘smaller shows’ will be the order of the day until life gets fully back to normal.
“This problem we have now is this pandemic is affecting everyone’s lives. As much as we need to have live sports, we have to wait and be ready,” said Hearn in an interview with Sirius XM.
“Boxing needs to return but only at a time when it’s safe for everyone. If you’re not fit and healthy, this virus is especially dangerous.
“When boxing returns I do believe it will be in front of closed doors.
“Boxing thrives off of a live crowd. I’m already planning fights in-studio and they’ll have to be smaller fights.
“How long will the fighters wait to fight? That’s the question. Different parts of the world will recover differently and at different times.
“I think we will have to create a sort of ‘Fight Camp’ where everyone is tested.”
The final question to be asked of these in-house events will be whether a charge will be needed to watch the shows in order to compensate for gate receipts.
It’s not a model adopted by the wrestling circuit. They merely want to appease TV Networks.