Despite the Coronavirus pandemic putting a pause on most major sports, boxing has slowly but surely begun to make a comeback in the tumultuous year that has been 2020. And luckily for boxing fans, it appears as if things are about to heat up in the second half of the year.
In terms of major promotions, Top Rank was the first to bring back live fights, holding events over the last few months in a private room with strict testing protocols in place and without fans at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
There were certainly some difficulties that the promotion faced throughout the process, including positive tests and fights falling apart, but overall, Top Rank provided consistent and entertaining action despite the majority of its top stars and champions being absent.
And now, after a successful first stint inside of “The Bubble,” Top Rank will take a break before returning with more fights in August. In addition, it’s important to note that Top Rank could have some massive fights in store over the next few months.
A Lightweight title fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez, for example, has been targeted for the fall and the trilogy bout between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was once targeted for the fall, but could still potentially take place before the conclusion of 2020.
More importantly for the sport of boxing as a whole, however, is that other major promoters are starting to make returns as well.
Golden Boy, for example, hosted its first card since the outbreak of COVID-19 this past Friday, July 24 from the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Vergil Ortiz Jr. took center stage in a bout against Samuel Vargas, which was broadcast on DAZN.
With Golden Boy back in the picture, perhaps Ryan Garcia, one of the sport’s rising stars, will compete in the coming months as well, although he appears to be having some issues with the promotion.
In addition, Canelo Alvarez, boxing’s top attraction, is expected to return to the squared circle this fall, potentially in an intriguing Super Middleweight title fight against Callum Smith.
Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing will also soon begin to hold events again. In fact, Hearn has created a “Fight Camp,” where he will hold fights outside at Matchroom’s headquarters in London.
That stretch of fights will conclude with an intriguing Heavyweight bout between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin. The promotion is also making its return stateside with an event on August 15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
While it’s certainly a positive to have these promotions back in the fold, it’s also impossible to deny the fact that Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime have come back with the biggest bang and the most interesting lineup of fights.
Earlier this week, Showtime made waves in the boxing world after it released its schedule for the end of the year. That schedule features eight events between August and December, with two of them being set for pay-per-view, and some incredibly intriguing fights.
Headlining the lineup is a pay-per-view doubleheader on September 26 that will feature a 160-pound title fight between WBC Middleweight champion Jermall Charlo and tough contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. A Junior Middleweight title unification bout will also take place Jermell Charlo and Jeison Rosario.
Later on in the year, a highly intriguing 130-pound title fight between rising knockout artist Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Leo Santa Cruz will headline a pay-per-view event on October 24.
Simply put, the future appers bright for boxing after a difficult start to 2020 and if all goes well, fans will be treated to a plethora of big fights over the next few months.
The only issue, however, is that that is a big “if” and the future still remains incredibly unclear, not only for boxing but for the world as well.