Another show in Dubai is placed on hold due to circumstances well beyond the control of anyone in the sport.
The unfortunate passing of United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of The United Arab Emirates has created a ripple effect in the boxing world. The latest fallout comes in the postponement of the planned lightweight bout between former titlists Tevin Farmer and Mickey Bey, which was previously due to take place this Saturday at Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai.
"On Behalf of the Organizers Bigger than Life Sports, Tevin Farmer and Mickey Bey of Bey Brothers Promotions, we want to give our condolences to all of the people of Dubai (UAE) on the passing of their great leader," event promoter E.Jay Matthews of Bigger Than Life Sports noted in a statement Tuesday. "This delay will only build this great event even more, and Tevin and Mickey will continue to train as we reschedule."
The postponement comes on the heels of Hall of Fame former five-division titlist Floyd Mayweather having to cancel his planned exhibition bout with 'Dangerous' Don Moore which was due to take place last Saturday on a helipad atop the luxurious Burj Al-Arab Hotel in Dubai. The event was shut down last Friday upon the sudden passing of Sheikh Khalifa at age 73. Muslim tradition calls for a three-day mourning upon the passing of a member of the Islamic community, which immediately affected Mayweather-Moore and now the planned clash between Farmer and Bey one week later.
Ironically, Farmer-Bey was moved to Dubai after previously being scheduled to take place on the same day in Accra, Ghana. The relocation of the event resulted in the dropout of former junior featherweight titlist Isaac Dogboe, who was due to appear in the co-feature.
The passing of Shiekh Khalifa now leaves Farmer and Bey without a fight altogether—at least for the moment.
"Like we have been saying since we announced the fight, it will [still] be a great event," said Matthews. "We were originally supposed to have the show in Ghana, but because of changing Covid restrictions, we moved the fight to Dubai (UAE).
"The people of Dubai have been terrific to work with, and it is heartbreaking for the people of this country to mourn the loss of their leader."
Farmer (30-5-1, 6KOs) has not fought since a twelve-round, unanimous decision defeat to Joseph 'JoJo' Diaz to end his IBF junior lightweight title reign in January 2020. The Philadelphia-bred southpaw made four successful defenses prior to that point dating back to his August 2018 vacant title win over Billy Dib.
Bey (23-3-1, 11KOs) has been out of the ring since a narrow split decision defeat to George Kambosos Jr. in December 2019. The setback has aged remarkably well, with Kambosos going on to capture the lineal/WBA/IBF/WBO lightweight championship after dethroning unbeaten Teofimo Lopez Jr. (16-1, 12KOs) last November at Madison Square Garden Hulu Theater in New York City.
Kambosos will next face WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney (27-0, 15KOs) in an undisputed championship on June 4 in Melbourne, Australia. Haney was previously trained by Bey for his past several title defenses.
A rescheduled date for Farmer-Bey was not made available as this goes to publish, nor was information on ticket refunds.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox