Some good news on Monday out of the U.K., as the plan, at least for now, is that the temporary “hold” on any professional fight cards for January due to Covid 19 concerns will be lifted next month.
This came with an announcement from the British Boxing Board of Control that they will proceed with caution for the next 30 days but that the belief is that the sport can resume within the social distancing and safety guidelines,
The British Boxing Board of Control will be resuming Boxing tournaments under its jurisdiction in the middle of February, dates and venues to be confirmed in due course. pic.twitter.com/QMz87xoJns
— BBBofC (@BBBofCuk) January 11, 2021
As we wrote, the BBBOC had put the restriction into place just last week saying in a statement,
“Following the increase in COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom and the effects such increases has on the NHS and the work of the Board Medical Officers, it has been decided that no tournaments under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control will take place in January 2021.
“A further review by the Board’s Medical Panel and Stewards will take place later in January in relation to tournaments from February onwards.”
The announcement meant that the Matchroom Boxing show for January 30th with the main event between welterweight contenders David Avanesyan vs. Josh Kelly had to be shelved. As did a “prospect card” from promoter MTK Gobal for the previous weekend.
With the announcement today, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom reacted quickly about putting shows back into motion.
He told BoxingSocial.com that the first targeted date/title fight is already planned for February 13th,
— Boxing Social (@boxing_social) January 11, 2021
That will be a February World Featherweight Unification bout between IBF Champ, England’s Josh Warrington and WBA title holder, China’s Can Xu. Hearn confirmed that the fight will be held with no fans at a location to be announced.
Matchroom’s last prominent U.K. show saw Unified Heavyweight Champ Anthony Joshua KO Kubrat Pulev in December in front of approximately 1,000 fans at the Wembley Arena in London.
As we have also written, the BBBOC ban has complicated the announced date of the WBO World Jr. Lightweight showdown between champ, Jamel Herring of the U.S. and former Featherweight and Junior Featherweight World Champ, Carl Frampton of Ireland.
Those two have been delayed from meeting due the Coronavirus Pandemic into 2021 with the hope that the fight would either be in England or Frampton’s home country with at least some fans present. Although, that part appears now, unlikely.
Herring tweeted this on Saturday night,
Praying for all my friends and supporters, over in the UK. Hopefully when thing cool down, not only there, but around the world, I can see you all in London. 🙏🏾#SemperFi 👑
— Jamel Herring (@JamelHerring) January 10, 2021
In the meantime, Hearn also told the site that he hopes to also announce a reschedule date for March or April for Heavyweight contenders Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte. The Russian former WBA World Champ upset the British contender Whyte with one thunderous uppercut in August. Povetkin has been battling Covid 19 and was hospitalized twice late last year.
The 41 year old Povetkin has resumed training for the rematch this month.