As British boxing was hit with further restrictions, which would prohibit any domestic events from taking place in January, promoted Mark Bateson detailed the significant impact that the pandemic has had on the sport.
The Leeds based promoter, who prior to last year took pride in ensuring his fighters were given regular dates and remained active, described the impact of the pandemic as being ‘soul-destroying for small hall promoters’.
He added: “It has affected us massively, to be honest with you, it’s not only the boxers and the promoters but it is the timekeepers, the referees, the MCs, the whips and the list goes on. Everybody in the boxing business has been impacted apart from the big promoters that have television partners, I don’t think they have really suffered, maybe a bit, but not in the same way we have.
“It’s a shame because I have some cracking lads coming through who were penned to make a big impact in 2020, but that has all had to be put on the shelf now. It’s hard for the lads to motivate themselves when they haven’t got a date.”
He went onto reveal that he has had phone calls for fights from Matchroom and Queensberry Promotions for his lads, but they are a week or two weeks notice and as their manager, trainer and promoter, he has a duty to look after his fighters and the notice just isn’t long enough.
“Fighters are fighters and a lot of them would take the fights, but it’s about looking after my fighters.
“We don’t know how long this is going to last, how long is it going to be before small-hall promotions have a crowd, we just can’t have a show without a crowd. As much as I would love to put on a show behind closed doors, it’s impossible.”