By: Sean Crose
The Coronavirus has now taken a bite out of boxing. While millions prepare and worry about the mysterious contagion’s impact, fight cards are being postponed throughout the world, impacting careers, businesses, and the overall health of the sport. California called off all combat sports events throughout March, while this weekend’s James Kirkland led card in Maryland has been postponed. Shakur Stevenson’s Madison Square Garden card on Saturday has been postponed, as well. Same for Mike Conlon’s scheduled New York appearance next week. Other boxing events, professional and amateur alike, have been pushed back to sometime in the future. It is a strange, frightening time for the sport and for the world at large.
“This morning, we were informed by the California State Athletic Commission that all combative sports events have been canceled for the month of March,” said Golden Boy Promotions head Oscar De La Hoya, who has now put a stop to cards on the 19th and 28th of this month. “We will work with state and local officials,” he added, “as well as our venue and broadcast partners to determine the best course of action with respect to these and other upcoming events.”
Golden Boy was far from the only company to address the impact of the virus known as COVID–19.
“After close consultation with the New York State Athletic Commission,” Top Rank Promotions, the force behind the Stevenson and Conlon cards said in a statement, “it has been determined that Saturday’s and Tuesday’s events cannot proceed in light of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. Top Rank will work with the Commission to reschedule the events as soon as it is safe for all involved.”
“We regretfully must cancel our annual Night of Champions dinner and private show,” Thompson Boxing said in a press release regarding it’s scheduled Saturday card in California.
“Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19,” Swanson Communications claimed, “this Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions event at MGM National Harbor in Maryland, headlined by James Kirkland vs. Marcos Hernandez and promoted by TGB Promotions, will be postponed until a later date.”
“It looks like fans will have to wait just a bit longer for boxing to make its way back to Portland,” 2Pound Sports and Entertainment wrote in relation to its scheduled April 4th card, “as Oregon Governor Kate Brown put into effect a ban on large public gatherings, which would unfortunately include an excited group of fight fans at the Clackamas Armory.”Professional boxing cards aren’t the only ones being impacted by the Corona virus. USA Boxing has put a stop to its Golden Glove Tournaments, placing the amateur scene in the same uncertain place the professional boxing scene is at the moment. In truth, COVID-19 has impacted other sports, such as basketball, hockey, and baseball, as well as boxing. It is an odd and unsettling time for society as a whole, and the sweet science is no exception.