Could you ever imagine a boxing match without a crowd? Two fighters alone inside the ring with no roars of triumph, fear, doubt, and anger around; just the sounds of their entrance music and rattling skulls as they fight for victory.
Promoter Eddie Hearn had his say on the subject as reported on 10th March by BBC Sport explaining that he does not expect to see any empty arena shows!
With the state of the world and the economy in its current state due to the coronavirus, many sports events including boxing have been canceled or plan to proceed behind closed doors.
Hearn proceeded to elaborate on the importance of a crowd in the boxing environment. He spoke out telling BBC Sport Wales that the adrenaline and noise are crucial for fighters to build that atmosphere and intensity surrounding the sport. Furthermore, Hearn expressed his fears for boxers’ finances being impacted if the events were to be canceled with many fighters relying on the fights scheduled to provide an income for both themselves and their families.
In some areas of boxing, paying crowds are being dropped already!
During the Copper Box Arena event, organizers made the decision to proceed with the event without a paying crowd; only 70 to 80 team officials and boxers watching from distanced VIP seats. This decision was made for fear of the infection chance of the coronavirus, explaining the event will proceed emptier due to “concerns for the public, athletes and volunteer welfare.”
The speculation of crowd removal from the sport seems half true so far considering events are still holding officials and boxers in the seating. As for how significant the coronavirus crisis will affect the sport is yet to be seen until the government makes its position clear.
For now, we hope and wait…