As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe and increase the level of unease, even panic among people everywhere, a number of big sporting events are in danger of being postponed. Among the sporting events under threat is the scheduled fight between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev, set for June 20th at Tottenham Stadium in the UK.
Speaking with Sky Sports, promoter Eddie Hearn said that while other sporting events will now go ahead but behind closed doors, with virtually no-one in attendance, this will not be the case with Joshua-Pulev.
“I cannot see how we can stage a fight behind closed doors with no crowd,” Hearn said. “Can you imagine Anthony Joshua walking to fight Kubrat Pulev in front of you and me and Adam Smith (head of Sky Sports boxing)? It’s just not going to happen. The crowd is so integral to the dramatic aspect of the sport of boxing. And in terms of being a TV product. For me, it’s very difficult to do behind closed doors. What will be, will be. Right now, business as normal.”
Hopefully, the virus that has been spreading since December, and has caused the “total lockdown” of Italy (population 60 million) will be wiped out or a vaccine will be produced. Canceled or postponed boxing matches are the least of it, there are far greater concerns. The Coronavirus really has dominated the news for the past few weeks now, with some people feeling the panic in unjustified, that it is all being “blown out of proportion by the media,” and others feeling the threat is very, very real.
Who knows for sure?
There is talk that the upcoming 2020 Olympics, set to begin in July, may go ahead but with some events to take place with no spectators present. This is a worst-case scenario. While big football and rugby matches have been postponed in Europe due to the virus. Obviously, all boxing matches scheduled to take place in Italy over the coming weeks have also been postponed.