With the uncertainty of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom, sports resuming is not the highest priority. However, fighters, their promoters and fans are anxious for any update on when, even without fans present, boxing can resume in Britain?
And, on Thursday afternoon the top governing body of the sport, British Boxing Board of Control, made it clear that the earliest it will be is July.
But, even that is still only a wish for a restart time frame:
— Boxing News (@BoxingNewsED) May 1, 2020
Their statement read in part,
“At present there is no date for lockdown to end. Public health and safety is everyone’s top priority and 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. It is important to recognise that when professional Boxing promotions can resume there may be restrictions in place.
“Depending upon Government decisions it is hopeful that professional Boxing will commence in July 2020
“Initially, it is unlikely that crowd attending promotions will be permitted.“Initially, it is unlikely that crowd attending promotions will be permitted.”
The BBBOC shut down the sport in the U.K. in March, as the Coronavirus outbreak spread rapidly throughout Europe. To date, there have been over 170,000 cases of Covid 19 and over 25,000 deaths attributed in Britain.
There are several prominent heavyweight fights, including Unified World Champ, Anthony Joshua still looking for a date and a venue fight IBF number one contender, Kubrat Pulev. The fight was originally scheduled for June 20th at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. However, it has since been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is unclear if Matchroom Boxing, the promoter for Joshua, will try to hold the fight without fans later this summer or even wait until the fall to try to hold it with at least some fight fans exercising social distancing and being able to attend?
Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn had previously announced that the heavyweight contender fight between England’s Dillian Whyte and Russian, former IBF champion, Alexander Povetkin, had been postponed from its scheduled date this weekend to July 4th in Manchester.
However that fight date seems to be unrealistic at this point, even without fans in attendance and may need to be moved again.
Matchroom and Hearn still have not announced the rescheduled date for the May 23rd Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora heavyweight battle. Usyk, who is the WBO’s number one contender would be making his second appearance as a heavyweight after moving up from being the Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion.