For the first time since the Covid-19 shutdown of sports in March, boxing is back in the U.K. via Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and their Friday night fight card.
British Commonwealth Super Bantamweight champion, Brad Foster, will defend his title in a 12 round battle, that will be the final of five fights to be held live in the studios of BT Sport in East London. They shared this social media photo of what their setup will look like Friday night:
? BT Sport Studio
— Boxing on BT Sport ? (@BTSportBoxing) July 10, 2020
These fights are the first of what will hopefully be numerous bouts and cards over the next few weeks in England and the surrounding countries that make up Britain.
They 68 year old Warren, who’s been the previous promoter of legend Prince Naseem Hamed and formerly promoted Tyson Fury, revealed earlier this week that he will not be in attendance Friday night at the BT Sports Studios with what he says is limited availability for personnel.
Queensberry Promotions and the British Boxing Board of Control worked out guidelines for safety with the Coronavirus and the maximum number of people it will be allowed in the facility will be 65.
That obviously includes the fighters and their two cornermen, production staff for BT Sport, ringside officials, referees, judges, doctors, etc.
Warren told the London Daily Mail that he has no problem watching his historic first show back in the U.K. in over four months from his home Friday night,
“I am not as important on the night as the boxers, the BT technicians, the referees, the trainers, the testers for drugs as well as covid-19, the doctors and so on. Not even family and friends of the fighters can be there.
My consolation is that I will have a better view on TV than I would have had at the back of the studio.”
The Friday Night main fight features Foster, 12 – 0 – 2, making the fourth defense of his Commonwealth 122 lb. title against fellow unbeaten Super Bantamweight James Breech, Jr., and it will lead to some other intriguing bouts Warren intends to put on later in the summer.
The biggest one looming is the Heavyweight showdown between Daniel DuBois and Joe Joyce that has been delayed by the pandemic and for now, is tentatively re-scheduled for October 24th at London’s O2 Arena and potentially, with some fans in attendance.
Dubois (photo at top) is considered the rising star, as he is 14 – 0, 13 KOs at just 22 years of age. Meanwhile, Joyce got a late start on his professional career and is actually 34 years old, but only 10 – 0 with 9 KOs since having won the 2016 Olympic Super Heavyweight silver medal from the Rio games.
In the meantime, both Dubois and Joyce will fight “tune ups” against other Heavyweight competition, without fans, in the coming weeks for Warren/on BT Sport.
Fellow British boxing promotion Matchroom Boxing will be back with fight cards, as well, starting in August.
Known as their “Fght Camp” series from the back yard of their headquarters in a London suburb, Matchroom will have four successive weekends with shows that culminate with a showdown of English Heavyweight contender, Dillian Whyte taking on Russian, former IBF champ, Alexander povetkin in an elimination bout.