Rossendale Free Press

Fight game on hold with virus cases rising

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BOXING in the UK has been suspended because of the rise in coronaviru­s cases in the country.

A number of fights - including Josh Kelly (pictured) against David Avanesyan for the European welterweig­ht title on January 30 - face being postponed following the British Boxing Board of Control’s order.

BBBofC general secretary Robert Smith 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 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.”

The onset of the pandemic led to boxing being suspended from last March until July, and most events since then have taken place behind closed doors.

Anthony Joshua’s successful defence of his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweigh­t titles at the SSE Arena, Wembley, was held in front of 1,000 spectators last month after the UK Government relaxing lockdown restrictio­ns in London.

The BBBofC indicated amid the first nationwide lockdown that it was wary of overburden­ing the NHS at a time when emergency services were under immense pressure.

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