The organisation which oversees professional boxing in Britain has announced a shutdown of all events under its auspices this month because of the rise in coronavirus cases in the UK.
A number of fights – including Josh Kelly’s bout 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 that 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.
However, the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus in the UK has seen a rapid elevation in case numbers, with a further 57,725 reported on Saturday.
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.