As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, no shows will take place in the United Kingdom in January after a rise in coronavirus cases linked to a new variant of the disease.
The British Boxing Board of Control announced a new shutdown for the sport on Sunday, which means that Matchroom’s show planned for January 30, as well as the MTK Global show on January 22 will be postponed.
The Board will decide later in January whether shows in February can go ahead.
There have been a record number of cases in the UK over the past week, with most of the country now under strong restrictions, with restaurants, pubs, gym, non-essential shops and even schools in many areas closed.
The Board has always said that shows would not be allowed to go ahead, even behind closed doors, if there was a risk that there might not be suitable medical coverage.
Their statement said: “Following the increase in Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom and the effects such increases has on the NHS and the work of the Board Medical Officers, it has been decided that no tournaments under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control will take place in January 2021. A further review by the Board’s Medical Panel and Stewards will take place later in January in relation to tournaments from February onwards.”
Matchroom’s show, which was originally supposed to feature the Dillian Whyte-Alexander Povetkin rematch until the Russian was struck down with Covid, had been due to be headlined by the already-delayed European welterweight title fight between David Avanesyan and Josh Kelly. The MTK Global was due to feature a European bantamweight title fight between Karim Guerfi and Lee McGregor.
Eddie Hearn hinted that Matchroom could stage shows overseas is the shutdown in the UK is extended.
"Boxing for us will now re-start early Feb," he said on Twitter. "Hopefully, that will be in the UK but we will proceed regardless, safely and by any means necessary. To the fighters out there - stay ready!"
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.