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Sporting events and mass gatherings in UK expected to be canceled next week


By Charles Brun: Beginning next week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to ban outdoor sporting events, mass gathering, and concerts in the United Kingdom in an effort to combat the rising cases of coronavirus in the country. It’s still not official but it’s being reported by the Telegraph.

This move, if implemented, will hurt a number of upcoming boxing events in the UK. Thus far the UK hasn’t felt the sting of canceled boxing events like we’re now seeing in the U.S.

The number of confirmed UK cases of people sick from the coronavirus went from 590 to 798 recently, which shows that the illness is spreading. 11 people have died from the virus in the UK.

As of now, it’s unknown how long the ban will last If consumes the remainder of March and all of April, then it’ll impact Matchroom Boxing’s March 28th card headlined Josh Kelly vs. David Avanesyan at the O2 Arena in London. It could also affect the April 11th Daniel Dubois vs. Joe Joyce card also at the O2.

That doesn’t mean these cards can’t still go ahead. They could still take place behind closes doors without the fans and media. The gate money would be gone, but the cards could still go ahead.  It makes it tougher for the bigger cards. Top Rank had planned on staging their March 14 and 17th cards indoors without an audience present, but they canceled it due to them now having any way of testing the fighters for the coronavirus.

According to the Telegraph, PM Boris Johnson has had a change of heart in reversing course on mass gatherings and sporting events. Johnson had previously chosen not to ban the crowds. In Scotland, crowds of 500 or more people are not allowed to assemble.

If the ban on sporting events and mass gatherings stick for 2 to 3 months, it could potentially wipe out these fights in the UK:

  • Josh Kelly vs. David Avanesyan
  • Daniel Dubois vs. Joe Joyce
  • Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora
  • Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev
  • Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin

The question can these fight cards still take place without a crowd present behind closed doors? One problem is the promoters won’t know when the ban will be lifted on sporting events and mass gatherings. It’s tough to schedule fights if you don’t know hen the ban will be up. If the coronavirus cases continue to rise despite the measures to ban crowds, it’s going to be hard to resume putting the boxing events together.

The Premier League has already suspended their football seasons. Additionally, the London Marathon has been postponed until October.



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