WBO Postpones All Sanctioned Fights Through June
All over the world, we have seen sports entities respond to the coronavirus in a variety of ways. Events have been postponed, moved or cancelled altogether. One of the top sanctioning bodies in all of boxing has decided to take measures into its own hands.
The World Boxing Organization will not be allowing any championship matches under its banner to continue over the next few months. In a statement, the WBO posted the following:
“Amidst the current situation worldwide caused by Covid-19 the WBO has postponed all boxing events through June 2020. We will update accordingly.”
It appears that WBO eliminator bouts will not be included in this decree by the sanctioning body. That means bouts like Oleksandr Usyk v. Derek Chisora, set for May 23 in London, is still on at the moment.
Before the WBO made this announcement, several bouts were already called off related to the program. A few weeks ago, both Shakur Stevenson v. Miguel Marriaga (March 14) and Michael Conlan v. Belmar Preciado (March 17) were supposed to take place inside Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater. Stevenson was going to defend his WBO Featherweight Title while Conlan was going to defend the WBO Inter-Continental Featherweight Title.
This officially rules out the bout between WBC and WBO Light-Welterweight Champion Jose Ramirez and Viktor Postol on May 9 inside the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. There were questions whether the bout would even take place, as Premier Boxing Champions and Top Rank postponed bouts leading through May.
Other major bouts that may be affected by this ruling include:
- WBO Light-Heavyweight Champion Geovana Peres defending her belt against Savannah Marshall. The bout was supposed to take place on June 27 in Newcastle, England.
- Naoya Inoue and John Riel Casimero were supposed to compete in a unification bout for the WBA, IBF, The Ring, WBO and lineal Bantamweight Titles. This was set for April 25 in Las Vegas.
- Katie Taylor is set to defend the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and The Ring Lightweight Titles against Amanda Serrano on May 2. Eddie Hearn is working on a plan to either move the fight or find a way to make it happen.
- IBF, WBO, WBA and IBO Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua will be facing mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev on June 20. It is unknown if the coronavirus will wash that fight off of the schedule.
- May 2 was meant to feature Canelo Alvarez v. Billy Joe Saunders for the latter’s WBO Super-Middleweight Title. The fight has been rumored to be pushed back as early as June and as late as September. This is all depending on if Canelo will be facing Gennadiy Golovkin.
There are contingency plans in place, but it appears that we may be waiting a while for boxing to resume as a result of the coronavirus. Depending on the area, fights may have to be moved if they are being worked on. FIGHT SPORTS will be providing more information on the matter as time goes on.