The British Boxing Board of Control has outlined the reasons why no events will be able to take place if the United Kingdom lockdown restrictions are slightly lifted in early May.
A three-week extension to the ongoing coronavirus quarantine was confirmed recently. This takes British citizens up to May 7th on full social distancing measures.
Despite the peak of cases seemingly being reached, any easing of the stipulations to public life does not mean boxing is free to resume.
With almost five thousand new COVID-19 cases still being reported per day, the pressure on the NHS is still great.
Until those figures drop into the low hundreds or even less than that, no medical staff will be available for the sport, potentially until June or July.
“At present, there is no date for social isolation to end,” said the British Boxing Board of Control. “Public health and safety is everyone’s top priority.
“The British Boxing Board of Control is taking Government advice so that we can best advise all our licence holders as to when professional boxing in the UK can resume.
“We recognise that licence holders will want to prepare for restrictions being lifted and sport resuming. However, it is important to remember that professional Boxing will not be able to resume as soon as the ‘lockdown’ and social distancing measures are lifted.
“The principle reason for this is the strict medical practices that the BBBofC has in place. These are for the safety of Boxers.
“When restrictions are lifted, the ongoing work for our BBBofC Medical Officers and ambulance crews in their NHS roles will continue for some time.
“As the immediate pressure on the NHS reduces some Medical Officers may be available to work at BBBofC shows. However, this may not necessarily mean that shows can run.
“While the NHS is still fighting/recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic we cannot place any further pressure on the system.
“To put this into perspective, if a Boxer suffers a head injury and requires Neurosurgical intervention they would go to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed in the post-operative period and require vast medical input in the acute setting.
“The British Boxing Board of Control will not place this pressure on the NHS. Professional boxing cannot happen until normal NHS services have resumed.
“Furthermore, NHS staff will have come through one of the biggest challenges faced by the NHS, in its history. All involved will be physically and mentally fatigued.
“They will justifiably want to take rest and recuperation time. Therefore, due consideration has to be given to the medical personnel before any appointments to tournaments can take place.
“Your patience in the phased return of BBBofC licensed shows will be required and appreciated.
“We will continue to follow the Government and Medical Authorities’ advice. We will also keep the situation under review.
“When possible, to explore all options available to find a way of permitting Boxing when it is safe to do so.
“We would like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.
“Please stay home. Stay safe.”
At this point in time, a vaccine is the only hope of halting the spread of the virus and regaining some sort of foothold.
Trials have begun on humans in Oxford this week. It’s hoped NHS staff can be given protection as early as September.
Scientists behind the vaccine have already given the success rate of the injection an 80% chance of fighting off the disease.
We wait in hope.