Keeping track of cancellations, postponements in boxing due to the coronavirus pandemic

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Since the coronavirus became a pandemic, it has caused the sports world, including boxing, to shut down in recent weeks. Promoters around the world have been forced to cancel or postpone more than 60 cards — hundreds of bouts — between March and May, some with no choice because local governments shut down all non-essential business. More boxing events are likely to be called off in the upcoming weeks.

Here is a look at some notable cards that have been called off, as well as others likely to be:

March 14 at the Hulu Theater in New York

Shakur Stevenson vs. Miguel Marriaga, for Stevenson’s WBO featherweight title: This Top Rank card was the first casualty of the coronavirus as it was called off two days before the show. Stevenson had hoped to defeat Marriaga in his first title defense and then move on to a unification fight with Josh Warrington.

March 14 at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland

James Kirkland vs. Marcos Hernandez, middleweights: The first of multiple Premier Boxing Champions cards to be called off was to feature one-time contender Kirkland in the third fight of his return to the ring following a devastating knockout loss to Canelo Alvarez in May 2015.

March 17 at the Hulu Theater in New York

Michael Conlan vs. Belmar Preciado, featherweights: Popular Irishman Conlan was due to headline his fourth consecutive St. Patrick’s Day card at the Hulu Theater, but that streak is now over.

March 19 at Avalon in Hollywood, California

Joet Gonzalez vs. Chris Avalos, featherweights; and Lamont Roach Jr. vs. Neil John Tabanao, junior lightweights: Gonzalez and Roach were both due back in the ring for the first time since dropping decisions while challenging for world titles in their previous bouts. Gonzalez lost to Shakur Stevenson for a vacant belt and Roach lost a competitive decision to titleholder Jamel Herring.

March 21 at Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia

Yunier Dorticos vs. Mairis Briedis, for Dorticos’ IBF cruiserweight title: Dorticos and Briedis were due to meet in the final of the World Boxing Super Series’ second-season tournament. The fight is tentatively rescheduled for May 16 in the same location but seems unlikely to take place then either.

March 28 at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City

Artur Beterbiev vs. Meng Fanlong, for Beterbiev’s IBF/WBC light heavyweight title: Unified and lineal light heavyweight champion Beterbiev, a Russian based in Montreal, was supposed to fight in his home region in a mandatory defense. It was scheduled to be his first fight since a tremendous performance in October, when he stopped Oleksandr Gvozdyk in the 10th round to unify titles and claim the division lineage.

March 28 at Park MGM in Las Vegas

Luis Nery vs. Aaron Alameda, WBC junior featherweight eliminator: Undefeated former bantamweight world titlist Nery, who has had all kinds of problems making 118 pounds, was due to make his official debut at 122 pounds with a mandatory world title shot at stake.

March 28 at The Forum in Inglewood, California

Vergil Ortiz vs. Samuel Vargas, welterweights: Ortiz, who was the 2019 prospect of the year, was due to make his 2020 debut as the headliner against seasoned veteran Vargas in what he hoped would be the start of a big year.

March 28 at The O2 in London

David Avanesyan vs. Josh Kelly, for Avanesyan’s European welterweight title: Avanesyan loomed as a step-up opponent for Kelly, who is still trying to shake off the bad reviews he received for a draw many thought he lost to Ray Robinson in June in New York on the undercard of the first Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr. fight.

April 11 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas

Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonathan Rodriguez, for Ancajas’ IBF junior bantamweight title: Ancajas’ title defense against yet another obscure opponent had not even been formally announced, but was called off when the Nevada State Athletic Commission canceled all upcoming combat sports events in the state.

April 11 at The Armory in Minneapolis

Jamal James vs. Thomas Dulorme, for vacant WBA interim welterweight title: Minneapolis native James was to get his first shot at a title, albeit an interim one, in this PBC main event against Dulorme, whose previous title bout ended in a knockout loss to Terence Crawford for a vacant junior welterweight belt in 2015.

April 11 at The O2 in London

Joe Joyce vs. Daniel Dubois, for vacant European heavyweight title: This fight was a highly anticipated match between unbeaten heavyweights on the rise. The winner would put himself on the fast track to a much bigger fight. The bout has been rescheduled for July 11 at the same location.

April 17 at the Osage Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Andrew Moloney vs. Israel Gonzalez, for Moloney’s WBA “regular” junior bantamweight title: Australia’s Moloney was due to make his American debut in the first defense of his 115-pound belt since being elevated from an interim titlist to a secondary one.

April 17 at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland

Regis Prograis vs. Maurice Hooker, welterweights; Luke Campbell vs. Javier Fortuna, for vacant WBC lightweight title; and Cecilia Braekhus vs. Jessica McCaskill, for Braekhus’ WBC/WBO/IBF/WBA women’s welterweight title: This loaded Matchroom Boxing card was one of the more anticipated shows of the spring and hopefully will be rescheduled. Prograis-Hooker is a dynamite match between former junior welterweight titleholders looking for a quick path back to a title fight the reason they agreed to fight each other. The card also was to feature top prospects in heavyweight Filip Hrgovic and welterweight Daniyar Yeleussinov.

April 18 at the Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix

David Benavidez vs. Roamer Alexis Angulo, for Benavidez’s WBC super middleweight title: Benavidez was supposed to make his first title defense of his second reign in a homecoming bout. He hasn’t fought in Phoenix in five years and was pumped to do so in the main event of a PBC card.

April 25 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas

Naoya Inoue vs. John Riel Casimero, IBF/WBA/WBO bantamweight unification; and Jason Moloney vs. Joshua Greer, bantamweights: Inoue and Casimero were due to unify three of the four 118-pound titles in what was supposed to be Inoue’s first fight of his new Top Rank contract and his first fight since unifying two belts against Nonito Donaire in the final of the World Boxing Super Series, which was the 2019 fight of the year. Moloney-Greer was a 50-50 match between contenders looking to land a possible title shot against the main-event winner.

April 25 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.

Sergey Kovalev vs. Sullivan Barrera, cruiserweights; Patrick Teixeira vs. Brian Castano, for Teixeira’s WBO junior middleweight title; Rene Alvarado vs. Roger Gutierrez, for Alvarado’s WBA “regular” junior lightweight title; Wanheng Menayothin vs. Marco Rementizo, for Menayothin’s WBC strawweight title; and Felix Alvarado vs. DeeJay Kriel, for Alvarado’s IBF junior flyweight title: Golden Boy was putting on an absolutely stacked card topped by the return of former three-time light heavyweight world titlist Kovalev, fighting for the first time since his KO loss to Canelo Alvarez in November. The undercard included four other world title fights, including a 50-50 bout between Teixeira and Castano.

May 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders, WBA “regular”/WBO super middleweight unification: Alvarez, boxing’s biggest star, was due to return to the super middleweight division to unify belts with Saunders in a deal that had finally been completed after a long, difficult negotiation. The fight was supposed to be formally announced on March 12, but Golden Boy and DAZN decided to hold off on the announcement after the NBA suspended the rest of the season the night before due to the coronavirus, When the rest of the sports world began to shut down, the announcement never happened and the fight was ultimately postponed.

May 2 at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland

Josh Taylor vs. Apinun Khongsong, for Taylor’s IBF/WBA junior welterweight title: In his first fight since unifying belts by narrowly outpointing Regis Prograis in the World Boxing Super Series final and then signing with Top Rank, Taylor was due to return home to make a mandatory defense. Taylor then had plans for an undisputed title fight against Jose Ramirez later in the year if they each won their interim bouts.

May 9 at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Michigan

Claressa Shields vs. Marie-Eve Dicaire, WBC/WBO/IBF/WBA women’s junior middleweight unification: Shields, already the reigning undisputed women’s middleweight world champion, will attempt to also become the undisputed junior middleweight champion and thus become the first female boxer to be an undisputed champion in two divisions.

May 16 at TBA

Nordine Oubaali vs. Nonito Donaire, for Oubaali’s WBC bantamweight title; and Kudratillo Abdukakhorov vs. Sergey Lipinets, for vacant IBF interim welterweight title: When PBC announced that it was not going to have any events in May, this card was the only one it had squared away, even though it had not yet been formally announced. The main event was a good one on paper between unbeaten Oubaali and former titlist Donaire, whose last bout was a close decision loss to Naoya Inoue in a unification bout that was the 2019 fight of the year.

July 18 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder, third fight, for Fury’s lineal/WBC heavyweight title: They fought to a draw in 2018 and then Fury decimated Wilder in a one-sided seventh-round knockout in the rematch on Feb. 22. Wilder exercised his right to an immediate third fight that was due to be this summer. However, that fight was also canceled, and the promoters are looking at early October.

Also in jeopardy

May 2 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England

Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin, for Whyte’s WBC interim heavyweight title; and Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano, for Taylor’s WBC/WBO/IBF/WBA women’s lightweight title: Whyte is due to make his first interim defense against the aging, but still solid, Povetkin in the main event, while Taylor and Serrano are due to meet in one of the best fights that could be made in women’s boxing in the co-feature.

May 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California

Jose Ramirez vs. Viktor Postol, for Ramirez’s WBC/WBO junior welterweight title: Poor Ramirez and Postol. Once this mandatory fight is postponed, which is likely to happen, it will mean that it will have been called off twice due to the coronavirus. The fight was initially scheduled for Feb. 1 at Mission Hills Resort Haikou in Haikou, China, but was postponed on Jan. 23 because the coronavirus was just emerging in China. The fight was moved to Ramirez’s home region some three months later and now faces the same fate.

May 23 at The O2 in London

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora, heavyweights: Usyk is a mandatory challenger for unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua, but Joshua has another mandatory defense to make first. So Usyk, the undefeated and former undisputed cruiserweight world champion who moved up to heavyweight last year, plans to gamble his position against dangerous former title challenger Chisora.

June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London

Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev, for Joshua’s IBF/WBO/WBA heavyweight title: In his first fight since reclaiming the belts from Andy Ruiz Jr. in their December rematch, Joshua is due to make the first of back-to-back mandatory defenses against Pulev in a fight expected to draw some 70,000 to a new stadium, though most expect the bout to be postponed.

Source: espn.com

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