Artur Beterbiev vs. Fanlong Meng POSTPONED for March 28
By Jim Maltman: In a double whammy, Top Rank has postponed the Artur Beterbiev vs. Meng Fanlong on March 28 and Matchroom has done the same for their Regis Prograis vs. Maurice Hooker fight card scheduled for April 17. The postponements are due to the coronavirus pandemic.
IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) was scheduled to defend against IBF mandatory Meng (16-0, 10 KOs) on ESPN on the 28th of March on ESPN at the Videotron Center in Quebec City, in Quebec, Canada.
Beterbiev vs. Meng needs a new date
Top Rank boss Bob Arum hasn’t given a clue for when he’ll be rescheduling the Beterbeiv-Meng card. Although there wasn’t a high degree of interest in the Beterbiev vs. Meng fight, it’s still disappointing to see the fight postponed.
Beterbiev is an exciting fighter, who is coming off of a career-best 10th round knockout win over WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk in a unification fight last October in Philadelphia. Artur was hoping to get Meng out of the way so he could move on to bigger and better things with his career.
Beterbiev’s popularity has risen dramatically since his victory over Gvozdyk, which is why the news of his postponement is a bitter pill to swallow. The two-time Russian Olympian Beterbiev could have his career-momentum slowed by the coronavirus outbreak, which has gone pandemic and killed over 6,000 people worldwide.
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) March 16, 2020
Staging Beterbiev-Meng behind closed doors could be an option for Top Rank, as long as they have a method for testing the fighters. The lack of testing kits was one of the reasons for Top Rank choosing not to stage the March 14 and March 17 cards behind closed doors.
At this point, it’s difficult for Top Rank or any promoter to reschedule an event without being able to predict what the future holds for the coronavirus pandemic. Without having a crystal ball to see into the future events, any fight, such as the Beterbiev vs. Meng contest, could wind up being postponed again.
Matchroom postpones Prograis vs. Hooker for April 17
The old saying, ‘When it rains it pours’ was never more true when it comes to the seemingly unending cancellations of fight cards by boxing promoters around the world. Earlier on Monday, Matchroom Boxing announced that they were postponing the April 17th card headlined by former 140-lb champion Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker.
Those two were set to fight live on DAZN from the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. It was all-around a great fight that fans were anticipating in big numbers. And like Top Rank, Matchroom can’t see into the future to predict when they’ll be able to reschedule the Prograis-Hooker fight without it being postponed a second time.
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