A boxing reboot and COVID-19... Do they really get it?
In the midst of internationally mandated lockdowns due to COVID-19, Hall-of-Fame Promoter told FightNews earlier this week that boxing could “lose a lot of young fighters” if the situation continues much longer.
All sports and most businesses are suffering financial damage during the international lockdown — and it's possible bigtime boxing could be KO'd until as late as September. At this moment, a boxing reboot depends on controlling the virus as significant future outbreaks would only push things back further.
“We need to get on,” said Warren. “As far as boxing is concerned, if we don’t, I think we’re going to lose a lot of young fighters…It’s not like they can even train properly. They can’t get into gyms, they can’t spar.”
“We’re working very closely with the boxing board of control to enable us to get something going. There’s going to be no money in it but we’ve got to get it moving.”
“This is a contact sport, a full contact sport… from the trainers to the seconds to the referees, we need to make sure it’s a safe environment for everyone involved. That is paramount," said Warren.
That stated, training safety must but be made an utmost priority. Boxing and MMA are havens for the spread of COVID-19 because fighters sweat, bleed and (unintentionally) spit on each other. Referees, cornerman and sparring partners are at-risk as well as people who simply workout at the same facility as someone who has COVID-19.
What if a single mom carrying COVID-19 works out at the same gym as one of Warren's fighters?
By breathing the same air and using the same equipment she could easily pass the virus to 2 or 3 fighters who in turn pass it to 9 more gym rats, including the fighters with upcoming bouts.
Are we going to test everyone who trains at a particular boxing gym? Are we going to lockdown gym use to principals only? What's the plan for training... And testing?
Boxing's economy will crumble even more if we reopen too quickly.
The worst thing that could happen is we open up boxing and subsequently have a new wave of viruses hit because we weren't careful. Moreover, when it comes time to open up weeks or months later, it would be harder to gain fighters' trust.
This is nothing to kid around with so it's always better to err on the side of caution.
“We’ve got everything in place to do this as soon as we get the green light. When the government says we can commence doing things behind closed doors, we are in a good position," Waren added.
Do we have the level of testing in place to resume?
Coronavirus in boxing