“They Will Have To Give Up Boxing And Get A Job”
As the coronavirus battle rages, many people are feeling the financial pinch. The health issues are of course the number-one concern, but money, and being able to earn it, is also a serious issue. And for young fighters yet to have broken into the big-money bracket, for small hall fighters and those boxers who have not got a sponsorship deal, the possibility that they may have to actually quit boxing and get another job are high. So says promoter Eddie Hearn, and this concerns him deeply.
Speaking with Reuters, Hearn said it will be heartbreaking if these fighters have to give up boxing and with it “their dreams.”
“If this drags on to September, October, November, December, we’ll have fighters that have not boxed this year,” Hearn said. “The fighters at the top end are going to be fine but the fighters coming through, small hall fighters, ones starting their careers or those who do not have a sponsorship deal face big concerns. They will have to give up the sport of boxing and get a job and that’s heartbreaking for someone trying to live their dreams. Look at the Olympics – these people have grafted for four years to achieve their dream and fight in Tokyo. There’s no chance of these Olympics taking place so what are they going to do? Everything is going to be a complete reshuffle of every sport.”
Some people have suggested fights could go ahead, but behind closed doors, with no audience in attendance. Who knows if this could actually work; even become a regular thing while the coronavirus war rages. Hearn, though, along with many other boxing people, says that without the atmosphere the hundreds or thousands of fans create, it just wouldn’t work. But these fighters need to get in the ring and fight and earn a pay day as soon as they can. If they cannot, the sport could potentially lose a good number of future champions and stars.
Grim times indeed. It really must be an especially bad time for all the athletes who have put so much hard work into their preparations for the Olympics.