Professional boxing action in the United States will no longer be on the ropes due to the global pandemic of Covid-19.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission approved Top Rank to produce two ESPN shows in Las Vegas on June 9 and June 11 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas during a meeting on Wednesday.
BoxingScene.com has learned that Top Rank's Vegas cards will have a total of five fights, and additional fights could be added as well. Top Rank will approach each show on a case by case basis.
To further mitigate the potential spread of the virus and the number of people inside the venue, Top Rank will not be credentialing members of the media to cover the event on site. Instead, accommodations for the press will be made remotely.
When the UFC returned to stage three separate shows in Jacksonville earlier this month, media was allowed to cover the events, and fight cards nearly reached an average of a dozen total matches for each.
The June 9 Top Rank show is slated to be headlined by WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) when he takes on Felix Caballaro (13-1-2, 9 KOs) in a 10-round, non-title fight at super featherweight limit of 130 pounds.
The June 11 card is slotted to showcase Jessie Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KOs) as the featured attraction when he takes on Yenifel Vicente (36-4-2, 28 KOs, 1 NC) in a 10-round fight at a catch weight of 128 pounds.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.