Phil Jay 28/03/2020
Coronavirus has canceled boxing for the foreseeable future as COVID-19 continues to take its toll on the world since being born in Wuhan, China.
Up to 250,000 deaths worldwide are expected (at the very least) and only if people follow measures to stay indoors and stop the spread.
But there’s now a real hope that our great sport will be back over the summer. Weeks from now hope can breed reality.
June could be wishful thinking, although July might well see the first rearranged bouts take place under tighter conditions.
One solitary upside to the extension of suspended events, and the only silver lining in what has become a huge dumpster fire, is the potential for fans to enjoy a blockbuster final few months of 2020. Then into 2021.
All the fights currently on hold will possibly be crammed into one of the biggest periods of shows ever known to man. A mass extravaganza, if you will.
Just some of the events which are lined up to take place in the final third of this year will be almost certainly added to those who are due to arrange a contest.
Bouts set for July to December 2020:
Mairis Briedis vs Yuniel Dorticos (July)
Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce (July)
Jamal James vs Thomas Dulorme (?)
Regis Prograis vs Maurice Hooker (July)
Naoya Inoue vs Johnriel Casimero (July)
Josh Taylor vs Apinun Khongsong (July)
Canelo vs Billy Joe Saunders (July)
Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr. (?)
Jose Ramirez vs Viktor Postol (July)
Claressa Shields vs Marie Dicaire (July)
Nordine Ouabaali vs Nonito Donaire (July)
Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin (July)
Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora (July)
Jamel Herring vs Carl Frampton (July)
Sergey Kovalev vs Sullivan Barrera (August)
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev (August)
Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III (October/November)
That hotlist of TV-worthy battles is already in the pipeline. Many other stars waiting in the wings for their end of year dates.
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Those who could bolster what promises to be a huge schedule include:
Vasyl Lomachenko facing Teofimo Lopez, which was due in May but could conceivably get over the line for August. Errol Spence was supposed to be in the ring around July. This could be pushed to November in order to allow further recovery from a car accident in late 2019.
Manny Pacquiao will be targeting a November or December. Gennadiy Golovkin eyes a warm-up to his expected November trilogy with Canelo. ‘GGG’ could be out sometime in July.
Terence Crawford is still trying to entice Pacquiao to fight. And if there’s a chance of that going ahead, ‘Bud’ could be set to wait until the ‘Pacman’ is ready.
Pound for Pound star Juan Estrada was scheduled for a summer defense of his title. With Roman Gonzalez picking up a version of the super-flyweight crown, the pair could meet again around October time.
Leo Santa Cruz, Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, Artur Beterbiev, Miguel Berchelt, Gervonta Davis, Gary Russell Jr., Daniel Jacobs, Keith Thurman, and Andy Ruiz Jr. Plus Guillermo Rigondeaux, Dmitry Bivol, Jeison Rosario, Callum Smith, Jerwin Ancajas, Demetrius Andrade, Josh Warrington, Rey Vargas, Gilberto Ramirez, Emanuel Navarrette and David Benavidez are just some of the higher-profile names certainly in the hunt to be on a big card in late 2020 to early 2021.
Those dates will be slightly delayed themselves due to the pandemic faced around the world.
Once we are back underway, it could be some period for everyone to enjoy after a nightmare year so far.
We need the sport now more than ever.
Roll on the summer. Stay safe everyone.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay