The BBBoC Set The Stage For Boxing to Return With New Safety Guidelines
By: Hans Themistode
The sport of boxing has sat back patiently with its hands crossed while it figured out solutions. Fighters were forced from their gyms and fans were banned from arenas due to COVID-19. The reoccurring bad news that appeared on our television screens, made the possibility of the sport returning anytime soon bleak at best. But while fans and boxers groaned and complained during their self quarantine, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) was hard at work figuring out a solution. And now, it appears they have one.
The BBBoC were malleable in their way of thinking, and have put in place new protocols that will allow boxing to return. Albeit behind closed doors. In addition to the obvious, which is there sporting events will not be open to the public, ring girls, TV announcers and TV cameras will be allowed inside of the ring.
Amongst the long list of guidelines we’ve highlighted the following:
– No spitting allowed in a boxers respective corners
– Masks must be worn by the referee and each teams corner men at all times
– Testing will be done for everyone at the event
While all of these precautions must be met in order for the contest to take place, nothing has been set in stone. Promoters will be given a copy of the new guidelines and will have the opportunity to chime in.
One fight card that has been recently announced as a closed door event that would have to adhere to these new guidelines would be the Heavyweight showdown between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin. Also fighting on the card is undisputed Lightweight titlist Katie Taylor and seven division champion Amanda Serrano. The following week, Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce is supposedly taking place in the U.K as well. While big name fighters such as Anthony Joshua are set to return to the ring against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev shortly after.
If everything goes according to plan, officials would be sitting a minimum of two meters away from one another. Also, anyone over the age of 70, no matter their health condition will not be allowed into the event. Fight fans can also expect to have shorter events as the maximum number of fights that can take place at one given arena will be shrunken down to five.
Again, nothing has been set in stone and the BBBoC has reserved their right to change stances if need be. Still, even with these new guidelines in place, it has done nothing to placate Joe Gallagher, trainer of WBA Super Middleweight champion Callum Smith.
“Why the rush and do things in half measures?” Said Gallagher on Twitter. “Make sure everyone is safe and well and let’s look at getting going in September. Give everyone time to get back training, sparring and make sure everyone is safe.”
Even with the framework and procedures in place, the BBBoC are still in the early stages of their proposal. But with sports such as MMA, Tennis and Nascar returning to our television screens, boxing could soon follow suit.
Eddie Hearn: “Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin Will Take Place Behind Closed Doors”
By: Hans Themistode
Boxing behind closed doors has become the best and quickest way for fight fans to see their favorite fighters back in the ring. It has it’s pros and cons though. The good, things will feel somewhat normal amidst COVID-19, and the entertainment is desperately needed. The bad however, is that without fans dishing out large sums of cash to get up close and personal, it could cause major issues when it comes to making big fights.
Still, for as bad as fans want to watch boxing on their big screens, they really want to see the marquee names go at it. In order for that to happen, one of the more recognizable names in the sport has to take the first step forward. And at the moment, it seems as though we have a couple of volunteers.
“A lot of people think it is difficult for bigger fights to happen behind closed doors,” said promoter Eddie Hearn told The Boxing Show on Sky Sports. But Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin is one of the fights we are planning to stage in the early part of the return, it will take place behind closed doors.”
Whyte of course, was scheduled to take on Povetkin in what was going to be one of the best cards all year. Some would argue that the co main event fight between unified Lightweight titlist Katie Taylor and seven division champion Amanda Serrano was good enough to headline on it’s own. But in today’s day and age, where fight cards seldom have more than one must see fight, this May 2nd event was a welcomed sight.
While most fans would be satisfied with Whyte vs Povetkin, there would be a feeling of disappointment if Taylor vs Serrano didn’t take place. That disappointing feeling however, will soon replaced with satisfaction if Eddie Hearn can somehow find a way to make it happen.
“I don’t know how we’re going to do it yet. But we have to come back with a bang. Whyte vs Povetkin, along with Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano, is a fight that I believe we will see at the end of July or early-August. It’s the biggest fight in women’s boxing,” Hearn said. “Looking at the achievements of Taylor and the growth of women’s boxing? It’s incredible.”
“She is pound-for-pound one of the biggest superstars in the sport. I will try to make it happen on the Whyte vs Povetkin card somehow, somewhere, some way.”
Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano is The Super Fight Women’s Boxing Needed
By: Hans Themistode
The sport of boxing has built its name and reputation on big fights.
Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier, Oscar De La Hoya vs Shane Mosley and more recently, Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder have all shaped the sport into what it is today. Simply put, not one year goes by without boxing having several big fights.
Even with so many unforgettable contests littered across the history of the sport, there has always been one glaring omission. A women’s super fight.
Women’s boxing has been around for decades. And much like its male counterpart, it’s had its fair share of big name fighters as well. Christy Marin dominated the 90s, while Laila Ali and Ann Wolfe lead the way in the early 2000s. Fast forward to today, and female fighters such as Claressa Shields, Cecilia Braekhus, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are currently carrying the torch.
For as great as those fighters are, many would love to see them face one another. On May 2nd, fans will finally get what they’ve been waiting for.
Undisputed Lightweight titlist Katie Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) and seven division champion Amanda Serrano (38-1-1, 28 KOs) have officially come to terms for a mega showdown on the undercard of Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin on May 2nd, at the Manchester Arena.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that this contest is going to take place on an undercard. There is absolutely no doubt that this represents the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.
The intrigue in this contest stretches far beyond their unbelievable professional careers. Before Taylor became a multiple division world champion, she had an impressive run during her amateur career, winning several tournament titles before capping things off with Olympic gold in 2012.
As for Serrano, there’s a reason why she has been linked to just about every big name no matter the weight class. It’s because she has no problem climbing through the divisions in search of a big fight. Her seven division world titles only plays second fiddle to Manny Pacquiao and his record setting eight. In short, if you believe you are the best fighter in your respective weight class, then Serrano has no issues climbing up or down to test you on that theory.
For women’s boxing, this is their Super Bowl, NBA finals and World Series all wrapped into one. Their sport has always played in the shadows. Even with this being the biggest fight that they can produce, it isn’t headlining its own card. In many ways, it is still taking a backseat to its male equivalent.
With that being said, this is the fight that the sport has needed. For as great as Laila Ali and Ann Wolfe were, a showdown between them, although it was very much clamored for, never took place. What would have happened had those two all-time greats actually met inside of the ring? That question will never be answered.
There were a few perceived “Super Fights” but were they really? Ali’s 2003 matchup against Christy Martin took place well past her prime. The 2001 contest between Laila Ali and the daughter of hall of famer Joe Frazier, Jacqui, was not and should not be classified as a “super fight.”
Three division champion, Claressa Shields could make the case for her own super fight which took place in 2019 against then undefeated champion Christina Hammer. Still, that match seems to come up a bit short in terms of a huge contest.
The absence of a female super fight has left a black eye on the sport.
No, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are not as high on the all-time great lists as Ali and Wolfe. Hell, they probably aren’t on the list at all at this point. But make no mistake about it, they will be when it’s all said an done.
It may have taken years, but women’s boxing has the super fight it has been clamoring for.
“It’s a fight that seems to have been talked about for years so I’m just glad it’s finally on,” said Taylor. “It’s a massive fight and one that I have been looking forward to for a long, long time.”