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.”
Fury Open to Facing Whyte for WBC Diamond Belt
By: Michael Kane
Last week WBC supremo Mauricio Sulaiman suggested that he wanted to make an interim title fight between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.
Dillian Whyte was quoted as saying he didn’t think Fury would accept.
Well Fury has responded, he doesn’t want an interim title fight, he wants the fight to be for the WBC Diamond belt.
Both Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) and Whyte have fights scheduled for the next couple of months. Fury takes on German Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) in the first fight of a big TV deal with Top Rank and ESPN on June 15th in Las Vegas.
Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) will face Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) in London in July, a fight he had wanted to be confirmed as mandatory for the WBC title.
Fury took to Instagram to set his only condition on accepting the Whyte fight.
“I propose that we make me and Dillian Whyte for the WBC Diamond belt and not the interim belt.”
“I’ll take care of Dillian Whyte,” he continued, “and knock him out within six rounds. I accept the challenge, thank you very much.
“I’d fight Dillian Whyte and day of the week and twice on a Sunday . Make it for the Diamond belt, not the interim version and you’ve got a deal. Let’s get it on!”
Whyte was quick to reply on the post by saying, “Let’s do it then, Tyson Fury. I’d fight you anytime, anywhere, seven days a week and five times on a Sunday. I look forward to putting you to sleep. Let’s go baby!”
Both fighters need to get past their immediate opponents before any such fight can take place.
Best 10 Boxing Fights of 2016
Best 10 Boxing Fights of 2016
By: Jordan Seward
With the new year approaching it’s time to reflect on the best boxing action of 2016, so in no particular order….
Orlando Salido vs Francisco Vargas
The two Mexicans treated us to a classic right up to the final bell for Vargas’ (23-0-2) WBC World Super Featherweight title. Vargas, coming off the back of Fight of the Year for 2015 faced a true, steely warrior in the 36-year-old Salido (43-13-4). It was a back-and-fourth slug fest between two champions who don’t know when to quit. In the end the pair couldn’t be separated and the judges correctly scored it a draw.
Tony Bellew vs Ilunga Makabu
The real life rocky story that saw Bellew (28-2-1) finally crowned a world champion. Just after starring in the new rocky film ‘The Bomber’ got his third bite at the cherry facing a dangerous and feared Congolese who had chalked up 18 knockouts in 19 fights. A packed crowed inside his beloved Everton football club’s stadium were stunned when Makabu (19-2) sent Bellew rolling over at the end of the first. The Everton man climbed off the canvas Balboa esque and rallied to stop Makabu in the third with a flourish of heavy punches to claim the vacant WBC World Cruiserweight strap.
Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora
This one had it all. Filled with controversy from the start these two Heavyweights threw everything but the kitchen sink. A table was thrown though. At a press conference. Which, as a result meant the British title wasn’t on the line. But after all the talk, the bad mouthing and the attempted scrapping Whyte (20-1) and Chisora (26-7) done it properly in the ring and fought out a clean and action-packed-12-rounder. Both men were rocked and absorbed a lot of punishment, but Whyte’s superior stamina was just about enough to nick it for him on the judges’ scorecard by split decision.
Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter
Thurman (27-0) was getting in the ring with probably the best opponent he’s faced. The only man to previously have defeated Porter (26-2-1) was Kell Brook, but, in a fierce competitive fight, Thurman successfully defended his WBA World Welterweight title dishing out Porter’s second loss of his career with a 115-113 unanimous decision. Although the announcement was greeted by booing, the stats suggested Thurman deservedly had his hand raised at the end, landing 43.6% of his punches while his opponent made 35.6%.
Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev
The fight that everyone scored differently. It was a fight we all wanted as soon as Ward made the jump up from Super-Middleweight. The defensive suave of Ward (31-0) met the aggressive power of ‘The Krusher’ (30-1-1) at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas. The American, fighting on home turf, was put down in the second round for only the second time in his illustrious career. But Ward, as Ward does, after falling behind on the cards managed to take the second half of the fight and claim Kovalev’s WBO, IBF and WBA Super World Light Heavyweight titles by unanimous decision.
Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz
After unifying his IBF super-bantamweight title by outpointing Scott Quigg, the Northern Irishmen capped off his impressive year by adding Leo Santa Cruz’s (32-1-1) WBA Super World Featherweight belt. ‘The Jackal’ (23-0) jumped up a weight division and battled it out with the Mexican champion in an absolute barn burner. After a hard and punishing 12 rounds it went to the judges’ scorecards and Frampton, was given the nod. Now, just for us, they’re doing it all again at the MGM Grand on the 28th January. Not a bad way to start the new year.
Hosea Burton vs Frank Buglioni
Words were exchanged between the pair in what was a heated build up to this Light-Heavyweight contest for the British title. But when the fighting started it quickly turned in to a very watchable and enjoyable scrap. Both Burton (18-1) and Buglioni (19-2-1) continuously plowed forwards, in attempts to assert their dominance. They were both taking serious damage and in the twelfth-round Burton’s chickens came home to roost. The 28-year-old was slowing down and deserved to hear the final bell but with just one minute left in the bout Buglioni landed some hurtful blows and the ref waved it off.
Thomas Williams Jr. vs Edwin Rodriguez
A fiery, hard fought contest… while it lasted. At the StubHub Center, on the undercard of Andre Berto’s knockout win against Victor Ortiz, Rodriguez, (28-2) displayed courage, grit, determination, and, a chin. In this two-rounder, it was Williams Jr (20-2) who was landing the more powerful and hurtful shots but a number of times Rodriguez remained upright and proudly came firing back. In the end, it took a monster left hook to knock the resolute 31-year-old out.
Gennady Golovkin vs Kell Brook
As far as unexpected fights go, this one took the biscuit. You couldn’t have called it. This was not a fight many had in mind, but, when it was made it was all the talk. The IBF World Welterweight champion, Brook, jumped up two weight division to face the feared Middleweight kingpin at the O2 Arena. Looking in great shape and as confident as ever the Englishman made a great start to the fight. However, as the fight went on we began to realise Brook wouldn’t be making history as Golovkin’s power started to take its toll and Brook’s trainer, Dominic Ingle threw in the towel stopping proceedings in the fifth round.
Anthony Crolla vs Ismael Barroso
After prizing away the WBA World Lightweight title from Darleys Perez in their second meeting, Crolla, (31-5-3)made his first defence against the man who, effectively, sent world title challenger Kevin Mitchell into retirement. As expected, the Venezuelan (19-1-2) started strong and, typical of a Joe Gallagher fighter, Crolla did not. He absorbed some early punishment and probably lost the first five rounds. It became clear after six though, that Crolla’s tactics were spot on, as the challenger noticeably began to tire. He had thrown all he had and was on empty, Crolla seized his chance and overwhelmed his opponent, eventually stopping him in the seventh.