British Boxing Board of Control is 'hopeful' fights will resume in July

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The boxing world is stuck in a holding pattern as coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to rise, but there appears to be optimism for a return to action in the United Kingdom.

The British Boxing Board of Control is "hopeful" fights could be held in July. The board suspended all tournaments in March after Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised avoiding mass gatherings.

"At present there is no date for lockdown to end. Public health and safety is everyone's top priority and the British Boxing Board of Control is taking government advice so that we can best advise all our license holders as to when professional boxing in the UK can resume," a statement from the board said.

"We recognize that license holders will want to prepare for restrictions being lifted and sport resuming. It is important to recognize that when professional boxing promotions can resume there may be restrictions in place. Depending upon government decisions it is hopeful that professional boxing will commence in July 2020 and we will continue to use our best endeavors to do so and are working closely with our promoters."

A maximum of five fights will be permitted for each card (subject to board review), and a pre-tournament medical form, COVID-19 testing and pre-tournament quarantine will be required.

"Initially, it is unlikely that crowd attending promotions will be permitted," the statement said. "In that situation the emphasis will be on minimal numbers of officials, license holders, members of the promoter's team and broadcasting personnel to facilitate a tournament that meets all BBBofC safety requirements.

"No tournament will be permitted to run unless the venue has been approved by the BBBofC post the government lockdown being lifted."

The board added it will continue to lean on the government and medical authorities for guidance as it searches for "a way of permitting boxing when it is safe to do so."

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