Box­ing eyes re­turn next month in Ve­gas

Orlando Sentinel - - Sports Friday -

Add box­ing to the list of sports on the come­back trail.

Pro­moter Bob Arum an­nounced Thurs­day he plans to stage a card of five fights on June 9 at the MGM Grand, the first of a se­ries of fights over the next two months at the Las Ve­gas ho­tel. A sec­ond fight card will be held two nights later, with ESPN tele­vis­ing both cards, kick­ing off twice weekly shows at the ho­tel in June and July.

No fans will be al­lowed, and Arum said fight­ers and ev­ery­one else will be tested at least twice dur­ing fight week for the new coro­n­avirus. The fights are pend­ing ap­proval of the Ne­vada Ath­letic Com­mis­sion, which meets next week to con­sider the events, along with two cards that the UFC plans to stage at its fa­cil­ity in Las Ve­gas.

They are also pend­ing the re­open­ing of the MGM and other Las Ve­gas ho­tels, some­thing that is widely ex­pected to hap­pen the first week of June, though no dates for a sec­ond phase of eas­ing virus re­stric­tions have been an­nounced by Ne­vada Gov. Steve Siso­lak.

“Once we get those fights in and UFC gets its ini­tial fights in, both of us will ask for ad­di­tional dates,” Arum told The As­so­ci­ated Press. “The key was get­ting enough test­ing, and we’ve got plenty of test­ing in Ne­vada to hold our events.”

In ad­di­tion to Arum’s fights, Bri­tish pro­moter Eddie Hearn said this week he plans to hold fights be­gin­ning some­time in July from the back­yard gar­den of the fam­ily man­sion out­side Lon­don where he was raised. Hearn told The Ath­letic that the first fight card is ten­ta­tively set for July 15.

Golden Boy pro­moter Os­car De La Hoya has also talked about re­turn­ing with a July 4 card, though he has of­fered no de­tails. UFC re­turned to ac­tion ear­lier this month with cards in Florida, in­clud­ing a pay-per-view event, that took place with­out fans.

ETHAN MILLER/GETTY

Keep­ing an eye on the world of sports dur­ing the coro­n­avirus cri­sis:

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