British Boxing Board of Control to lay down rules for July restart next week

Gareth A Davies
The Telegraph
Eddie Hearn has admitted there is still lots to overcome in his bid to bring back boxing with a series of shows at his Matchroom - PA
Eddie Hearn has admitted there is still lots to overcome in his bid to bring back boxing with a series of shows at his Matchroom - PA

The British Boxing Board of Control is to issue its official document outlining protocols and testing procedures next week, for behind-closed-doors events to start in July, after consulting with a panel of medical advisers on Thursday.

However, with social-distancing measures still in place, boxing authorities will insist that no sparring is permitted to take place in gyms.

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Robert Smith, general secretary of the BBBofC, said: “The document is being finalised and will be sent to all promoters, licence-holders and boxers next week after a very detailed meeting with our seven regional doctors and chief medical officers. “It will include the testing procedures and medical equipment required for events to go ahead, but we do not have a date for allowing sparring yet, because of the Government’s rules on social distancing.”

Eddie Hearn, the promoter, intends to go ahead with four outdoor events in July and August, at Matchroom Sport’s 15-acre site in Brentwood, Essex, over four consecutive weekends. However, Smith said on Thursday that would be dependent on the latest Covid-19 situation.

Senior medical figures on the boxing board’s panel expressed concerns on Thursday over a second wave of coronavirus infections. 

“There were a number of views expressed by our doctors on the panel who do have concerns of a spike after the V-E Day celebrations and even after next Monday’s Bank Holiday, given how people have been congregating in large numbers,” Smith said.

“One of our doctors, an anaesthetist who works in a London hospital, said the spread had calmed down, but he does not see evidence of social distancing, and the spike could put us back again.”

The boxing board is also to create a set of protocols for gyms, to be sent out next week, for “licensed trainers and fighters”. They will outline hygiene, testing and safe practice.

Smith had set mid-July as the point for boxing to return behind closed doors, but indicated on Thursday that if the coronavirus outbreak surges again, the date of return is likely to be moved to some time in August.

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