Coronavirus: Boxing schedule hit as Top Rank, Matchroom call off fights

Omnisport

Top Rank Boxing has cancelled all its boxing shows scheduled for March and April due to the coronavirus outbreak, while Matchroom Boxing's Maryland card is also off.

IBF and WBC light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev is one of those fighters affected, as he had been due to go up against Meng Fanlong in Quebec on March 28.

That show, along with others in Las Vegas on April 11 and Tulsa six days later, have been shelved over health concerns amid the global pandemic.

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Naoya Inoue – who signed a multi-year deal with Top Rank at the end of 2019 – will have to wait to make his debut under new promoters too, with his unification fight with fellow bantamweight world champion John Riel Casimero no longer happening on April 25.

"The health and safety of our fighters, staff and ESPN's incredible production team is the most important thing as we plan our next steps," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said in a statement.

"We look forward to the day when we can bring our loyal fans world-class boxing once again, but exercising caution is the most prudent thing to do at this moment."

Meanwhile, the clash between former super-lightweight world champions Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker will not take place at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill on April 17 as planned.

Matchroom issued an update on their website to confirm the news, though they are "exploring alternative options" for the fight, including the possibility of rescheduling for another date later in the year.

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