Boxing will be back in June, says promoter Arum

Behind-closed-doors fights in Las Vegas will return next month, according to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum.

Bob Arum acknowledged that fans will not be at fights for the foreseeable future.   -  Getty Images

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum expects to be staging boxing cards without fans from next month.

Like virtually all sports, boxing has been on a hiatus while the world tries to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

However, as some restrictions begin to be lifted across the globe, Arum has confirmed plans are afoot to bring boxing events back soon.

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Arum, who represents fighters such as world champions Tyson Fury, Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko, expects undefeated light-welterweight Jose Ramirez to be among the first to return to the ring.

"We are coming back in June," Arum told ESPN. "They will take place during the week and on weekends.

"They'll all be top fighters, really top fights. Will there be a Fury-[Deontay] Wilder? No. But they'll be some of our top fighters, like Jose Ramirez, he'll be in the mix, various others, Teofimo [Lopez], Shakur [Stevenson], all of them."

However, Arum is realistic enough to acknowledge that fans will not be at fights for the foreseeable future.

"Don't kid yourself. For the rest of the summer, there won't be a crowd," he added. "I don't anticipate – now, I don't know – being able to do fights with any kind of crowd 'til the fourth quarter [of 2020]."

Arum also revealed the first initial bouts to return will all be in Las Vegas due to logistics.

"That's what we're planning because it makes it easier for us. Our gym can be used for training," he said.

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"We have hotels that we [can] be opening up, and there won't be, initially, a big market of customers for rooms. They will have plenty of rooms available.

"These hotels have big ballrooms, which we could use to stage an event, and these ballrooms we could take for a two-month period, June and July, to put on events, maybe with an option to take them in August or September."