The UK’s boxing regulatory body, The British Boxing Board of Control, have cancelled all boxing shows until April at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic, saying even that of Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev slated for June could be cancelled if the coronavirus epidemic continues.
UK Prime Minister Boris Jonson held a press conference on Monday night, telling all sporting bodies and associations to cancel all sporting activities that involve crowds for the foreseeale future, and BBBC have now put all their events on hold.
The BBBofC in it’s press release suggested the option of fights behind closed doors.
The statement read: “With regard to the statement made by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, all public tournaments [shows] under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control are unfortunately cancelled.
“Further consideration of the matter will take place at the beginning of April.
“We have a number of requests for tournaments to be held behind closed doors however, the practicality and logistics will be considered fully following advice from Board Medical Officers.”
Anthony Joshua’s promoter/agent, Eddie Hearn dismissed possibility of Joshua fighting in an empty stadium due to the coronavirus.
He said: “I don’t like it because boxing is a sport that is built on that energy, those great moments where the crowd goes crazy and everyone’s in the stands singing ‘Sweet Caroline’.
“Also, the bigger shows are gate dependant in terms of the money for the shows. To pay the fighters, to make sure that everything can get taken care of, for the undercard.
“So when you start talking about AJ, when you start talking about Oleksandr Usyk, when you start talking about Dillian Whyte, the crowd is very [important] to the success of that event.
“When you start talking about the smaller stuff, it might be our Doncaster card with Terri Harper vs Natasha Jonas – that’s in Doncaster Dome which holds 1,400 people.
“If we have to stage events behind closed doors to make sure that we can provide content for our TV partners and, more importantly, provide fights and opportunities for our fighters, then it’s something we’ll definitely look at.
“But for the bigger events, not just financially, it don’t sit right with me.