This was supposed to have been a spectacular Saturday of triple-header boxing on two continents, involving clashes in three different weight divisions. Instead we’re left to wonder, if any of the fights that were scheduled but are now postponed by Covid-19 will even happen?
The biggest of the three battles was to have been four division World Champion, Canelo Alvarez of Mexico, taking on unbeaten British WBO super middleweight champ, Billy Joe Saunders in Las Vegas.
After weeks of trying to find an opponent back at the beginning of this year the Alvarez camp along with Golden Boy Promotions had settled on Saunders for the traditional “Cinco de Mayo” Mexican holiday weekend celebration. However before the fight could be officially announced, the Coronavirus outbreak the U.S. occurred in mid-March.
Now, in the interim, Saunders has gotten himself suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control due to domestic violence comments that he says he was making in jest on a social media video. Saunders suspension is indefinite and won’t be resolved until the BBBOC can formally meet. And, that won’t be happening at least for May.
So, it looks as though the Canelo-Saunders fight won’t be happening, even when boxing resumes later in the Summer. And, we further wrote the Canelo should move on anyway to preparing to fight Gennady Golovkin, who holds the IBF 160 lb title, for the third fight in their series later this fall.
Over in the U.K., there were supposed to be two huge fight cards on this first Saturday in May.
Controversial English heavyweight Contender Dillian Whyte, who has been flagged two separate times for drug test violations, was to have fought former IBF heavyweight champ (and fellow twice caught drug cheat), Russian Alexander Povetkin in Manchester, England.
Both fighters have lost previously to Unified Champ, Anthony Joshua.
Yet, this non-title showdown would have potentially put the winner in position for a heavyweight title shot later this year. Matchroom Boxing has since announced a rescheduled date of July 4th, again in Manchester.
However, the coronavirus resulting in over 25,000 deaths to date this year in the U.K., may have ended any chance of Whyte-Povetkin happening in the U.K. at least until much later in the Summer. And, it would likely have no fans in attendance.
Finally, unbeaten Unified Junior Welterweight champion, Josh Taylor of Scotland, was to have defended his belts for the first time, since winning the World Boxing Super Series 140 lb. tournament championship by 12 round decision against American Regis Prograis last October.
Taylor was to have fought IBF, number one contender Apinun Khongsong of Thailand in Glasgow, Scotland, as the bout was announced in late February.
While Khongsong is his mandatory, it appears that that fight will be off all together and Taylor may seek either a rematch with Prograis or potentially, fight for the Undisputed Junior Welterweight belts with Jose Luis Ramirez who has the WBO and WBC titles.
Again, the seriousness and severity of Covid-19 is much more important than sports, but still, you can’t help but disappointed with what we might have seen with these main events on this Saturday