And so, after 100 plus days of lockdown and no domestic shows since mid-March the boxing business hits the road again on Friday (10th) at the BT Sport studios in Stratford, east London.
Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren through his Queensberry Promotions is the first to get back in the saddle and kick start the recovery of the domestic boxing business. This will be followed hot on its heels with a series of Matchroom Boxing shows from their HQ in the gardens of the Hearn residence in Essex.
Over the last quarter gyms have closed, save supporting their local communities by setting up food banks, delivering medical supplies and offering temporary accommodation for the needy. Fighters have retired due to the impact on their earning capacity and ability to support their families, and those still active, have taken to training in parks or at home. For the boxing business it really has been a time of famine, reflection and worry about the times ahead.
Inevitably the show on Friday will be behind closed doors. However it will be ably covered by BT Sport and will perform CPR on the heart of the boxing business – live shows.
So what can we expect ?
Brad Foster 12-0-2 (5KO’s) will be main event as he defends the British and Commonwealth super-bantamweight (8st 10lb) titles against James Beech Jr. 12-0 (2KO’s). In this time of recovery and rekindling interest in the sport this is as competitive a match than can be hoped for. In the short term fans will expect any return of the sport to result in competitive contests, at the very least. This match fits the bill.
The support card is also interesting featuring Hamzah Sheeraz 10-0 (6KO’s) defending his WBO European super-welterweight (11st) crown against Scotland’s Paul Kean 12-1 (1KO), plus prospects Mark Chamberlain and David Adeleye featuring.
Daniel Dubois’ Ukrainian sparring partner Dorin Krasmaru will also make his BT Sport debut in a heavyweight contest. There should be some fireworks on the night to re-ignite the sport from it’s prolonged slumber. All eyes within the various promotional companies will be watching intently on the methods used and success of the evening.
Sit back and enjoy on BT Sport 1 from 7pm Friday.