The day many hoped wouldn’t arrive dawned today, as an embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued new regulations as the country seeks to avoid a strict second lockdown, in doing so he delayed the hopes of getting fight fans back into arenas or stadiums.
Test events had taken place with relative success over the past few weeks, including at EFL grounds and at Snooker events, with the tests set to be expanded at the start of October, However, as coronavirus cases rise in the UK Johnson today announced that plans for the return of fans had been halted.
Commenting on Twitter, Secretary of State for the DCMS Oliver Dowden stated: “Unfortunately we cannot proceed with pilots with 1000 fans & the wider 1st Oct reopening with socially distanced fans
I understand the seriousness of the impact of this & am working with sports &govt colleagues on how we support them.”
What it means for boxing remains to be seen, with Anthony Joshua having not fought since his victory over Andy Ruiz last December, hey may be forced to take his mandatory against Kubrat Pulev behind closed doors.
Whilst the eagerly anticipated heavyweight clash between Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois, which has already been pushed back several times faces further delays given it’s unlikely to take place without a crowd.
For amateur clubs, the guidance has yet to be clarified, with England Boxing seeking confirmation from the Government.
On Twitter the organisation stated: “Following the UK government’s announcement today that there will be changes to COVID-19 restrictions, England Boxing is seeking to clarify with DCMS & Sport England what this means for amateur boxing. We will issue an update as soon as possible.”
CORONAVIRUS LATEST ?— England Boxing (@England_Boxing) September 22, 2020
Following the UK government’s announcement today that there will be changes to COVID-19 restrictions, England Boxing is seeking to clarify with DCMS & Sport England what this means for amateur boxing. We will issue an update as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/jzJBk6IflM