Boxing officials in the United Kingdom announced today that all boxing events in January will be suspended on the advice of their Medical Panel.
The announcement comes amid a spike in COVID cases that led to temporary “surge hub” hospital expansions in at least eight hospitals in England. The suspension announcement only covers January, but ends by saying:
A further review by the Medical Panel and Stewards will take place prior to the planned recommencement of Boxing in February.
The highest profile fight affected by the January suspension order is a middleweight showdown between Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams formerly scheduled for the 29th in Cardiff, Wales.
If the British Boxing Board of Control decides to extend the suspension into February, it could impact a February 12th supermiddleweight match between Danny Jacobs and John Ryder set in London and the February 19th fight between Kell Brook and Amir Khan booked in Manchester. The February 26th show in Scotland between undisputed junior lightweight champion Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall would also be in jeopardy if the suspension gets extended a full month.
For boxing fans, it’s not great news on the very first day of a new year. But, Taylor-Catterall has already been rescheduled once due to injury. And if you’ve been waiting a decade and a half for Khan-Brook, you can probably hang in there for a few extra weeks if necessary.
If this one month suspension isn’t enough to curb coronavirus infections and spread, and additional fights get delayed, hopefully we can at least look forward to another end-of-year extravaganza like what we saw to close out 2021.