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Boxers On Top Rank Cards Saturday, Tuesday Haven’t Been Tested For Coronavirus

NEW YORK – Miguel Marriaga leaned in for a handshake from Shakur Stevenson toward the end of a press conference Thursday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

Stevenson, obviously mindful of the coronavirus, instead extended his closed hand for a fist bump. The unbeaten WBO featherweight champion is among the boxers scheduled to compete on cards Saturday night and Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater who are alarmed that none of them had been tested as of Thursday afternoon for the coronavirus.

“That’s surprising, but I’m pretty sure they’re gonna test us in the next day or two,” Stevenson told “I’m not sure, but we’re fighting, and especially because I’m fighting against someone from a different country. If I’m the one fighting someone from a different country, you don’t know if got anything.”


The 22-year-old Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs), a 2016 Olympic silver medalist from Newark, New Jersey, is scheduled to encounter Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga (29-3, 25 KOs) in a 12-round main event ESPN is set to televise Saturday night (10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT).

Messages left by for the New York State Athletic Commission regarding testing specifically for coronavirus hadn’t been returned by the time this story posted. A spokesman for Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., the promoter of the two aforementioned cards, referred all testing questions to the NYSAC.

The 33-year-old Marriaga seemed less concerned about testing for the coronavirus than his heavily favored opponent.

“Right now, I’m not thinking about any of that,” Marriaga said. “I’m just focused on my fight. I’m coming to get a big win.”

Marriaga, who trained for seven weeks in Mexico City before arriving in Manhattan on Monday night, would welcome any additional testing, though.

“If those are the procedures, I’m fine with it,” Marriaga said. “If it happens, it happens.”

Northern Ireland’s Michael Conlan (13-0, 7 KOs) doesn’t think any of the fighters on the cards Saturday night or Tuesday night will be tested in the coming days for coronavirus, a pandemic that has caused Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NHL and countless college basketball conferences to temporarily suspend operations. Conlan is scheduled to meet Colombia’s Belmar Preciado (20-2-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight main event Tuesday night, part of a St. Patrick’s Day card that’ll be streamed live by ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).

“No one’s been tested,” Conlan said. “They should be f---king scanning people when they’re coming into the [United] States, and getting things checked. I suppose it’s boxing, isn’t it? It’s a mercenary sport. As long as the show goes ahead, as long as the money’s being made, nobody cares.”

Top Rank announced at the start of Thursday’s press conference that the cards Saturday night and Tuesday night will take place without fans in attendance. It remains possible, according to information has gathered from multiple sources, that both cards could be postponed indefinitely.

The 14 fighters slated to compete on the seven-bout Stevenson-Marriaga card are supposed to weigh-in early Friday afternoon.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Luilun on 03-18-2020

[QUOTE=juanpablo;20459174]So he has to be careful from Marriaga because he's from another country? Wtf, this fool must not know that there are way more cases in the U.S. than in Colombia. If anything Marriaga should be careful with you[/QUOTE] Good…

Comment by Dasmius Shinobi on 03-18-2020

Boxers need money, especially, is this the only income for them, but a emergency is a emergency. Damn! I hope they have saving money for this dark times. :boxing:

Comment by Jack Rivers on 03-13-2020

In the 70s it was gonorrhea In the 80s it was HIV In the 90s it was cancer In the 2000s it was SARS In the 2010s it was Malaria Now it's the coronavirus Put these guys in a ring…

Comment by Fire4231 on 03-13-2020

Lol... Are any of the fighters showing Flu symptoms? Then why would they need to be tested for Corona? I guess we can create a witch hunt out of anything. It’s a new strain of the focking flu!!!

Comment by The D3vil on 03-12-2020

[QUOTE][QUOTE]“No one’s been tested,” Conlan said. “They should be f---king scanning people when they’re coming into the [United] States, and getting things checked. I suppose it’s boxing, isn’t it? It’s a mercenary sport. As long as the show goes ahead,…

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