No spit buckets and refs in masks… boxing's new Covid-19 proposals

New boxing rules proposed to stage events in July include no spit buckets and masks worn for ring walks as Eddie Hearn reflects on ‘huge barriers to overcome’ during coronavirus crisis

  • Boxing is latest sport preparing for a return to action during coronavirus crisis 
  • Fights in Great Britain could happen in July but new rules must be followed  
  • British Boxing Board of control have outlined new measures for health and safety
  • Protective masks must be used during ring walks and there are no spit buckets  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

New rules have been proposed for boxing to take place in Britain amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. 

Fighters must wear protective face masks during their ring walks, are not allowed to use spit buckets in between rounds and have to be thoroughly tested for Covid-19 before being allowed to compete. 

A five -page document has been sent to promoters by the British Boxing Board of Control and was seen by the BBC. 

Boxers would not be allowed to use a spit bucket between rounds, according to the guidelines

Events are scheduled to return in July but the proposed new guidelines, which are subject to negotiation with promoters, will not allow more than five bouts on a card and ban fights for titles. 

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn reflected on Twitter: ‘Just read the BBBofC guidelines to bring boxing back. Huge (but mostly sensible) barriers to overcome to make it happen but when the time comes we will be ready.’

As expected, the guidelines establish that no fans will be allowed into the venue to spectate, the performers, referees and trainers will be taken to the fights wearing PPE.  

Referees and cornermen have to keep their masks on during the contest but the boxers are allowed to take theirs off. 

There would be no ring girls, announcers or media allowed in the ring and venues would have to be thoroughly cleaned before a night of fights. 

Only essential personel would be permitted entry and individuals considered at ‘high-risk’ should not be able to come.

Dillian Whyte’s contest with Alexander Povetkin is one of the first big shows in July

Everyone who enters the venue should be tested for coronavirus with boxers, trainers and referees tested two days before the contest. They would have to remain in isolation until the results come back.  

The next fights in Britain these measures could be applied at are the Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin show in Manchester Arena on July 4 and then the Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce-headlined event on July 11 in London’s O2 Arena.

Fights require the NHS to lay on ambulances and staff as well as swift access to nearby neurological hospital wings. 

And those attending the event would have to be put up in hotels where self-isolation is possible as well as testing. 

The BBoC may yet have to change some of their proposals sent to promoters if the government changes their guidelines, restrictions or approach to dealing with Covid-19 as the pandemic develops.  

Daniel Dubois is set to take on British rival Joe Joyce on July 11 in London’s O2 Arena 

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