With an increase in COVID cases around the world, especially in the UK, the British Boxing Control Board announced that all boxing events will be suspended in January. There is no set payback date for affected fights.
Through a press release on social media, Secretary General Robert W. Smith confirmed BBBofC’s warning to various promoters. The spread of the Omicron variant has led to the expansion of eight hospitals in England. according to the BBC.
“On the advice of the British Boxing Control Board Medical Panel, boxing tournaments under the jurisdiction of BBBofC will be suspended for the month of January. A further review will be conducted by the Medical Panel and Commissioners prior to boxing’s planned restart in February. “
In March 2020, BBBofC suspended all boxing events in the UK due to the initial rise in the coronavirus. The fights returned later in the summer and crowds have been attending the shows ever since.
One of the only major fight cards affected by this news is Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Liam Williams. Scheduled to take place in Cardiff, Wales on January 29, the fight was supposed to take place on December 11. Also on that card was Claressa Shields defending her WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight titles against Ema Kozin. That fight is Shields’ return to boxing after competing in MMA, fighting for the Professional Fighters League.
If Shields wins that fight, as long as it takes place, he could face WBO middleweight champion Savannah Marshall, who was also fighting on that card.
So far, BBBofC has not suspended any February events. Matches scheduled for February include Danny Jacobs versus John Ryder (February 12), Kell Brook versus Amir Khan (February 19) and Josh Taylor versus Jack Catterall for the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF junior welterweight titles of Taylor (February 26). There is a chance that Tyson Fury could fight in the UK in the coming months, but all of that could change.
BBBofC will meet again and assess the UK COVID situation to see if further action is needed.