One of the big topics of discussion inside the boxing world during the COVID-19 lockdown across the world, which has shut not only live fights but gyms and everything else in the sport down for now, is what we’ll be seeing from a lot of name fighters when they return to the ring.
Mostly, it’s expected we’re going to see tune-up type fights, at least for a while in the summer, with all major promoters hoping to get cards rolling in June and July. That means fights where even a rusty or not quite 100 percent A-side should win. But a lot of people in the sport are expecting some upsets to take place, anyway.
Middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr (29-2, 22 KO) is among those who reasonably expects some mixed results, telling Sky Sports that he’s staying sharp and he knows others who are, but that there surely must be fighters who have fallen off their routines to a serious degree:
“Some fighters will use this opportunity to work on things, to improve. There is literally nothing else to do except train at this time. These are the guys that will leave this situation the best. Other guys will be disheartened because they don’t know when they are fighting next and their gym has closed. But they need to improvise. I know a guy who is hitting pads held by his girlfriend in the garden. I like that, I respect that. Stay active, don’t sit around all day like some people are probably doing.”
The 30-year-old Eubank looked to be headed for a shot against WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo after they both won fights in December on Showtime, Charlo beating Dennis Hogan via stoppage and Eubank getting a fluky injury win in two over Matt Korobov in the co-feature.
Eubank has recently talked about Charlo as well as a strong desire to fight Gennadiy Golovkin, who holds the IBF title at 160. Neither of those will be happening in the summer months, probably, but they’ll be possibilities whenever the sport really starts approaching “normal” again.