Carl Frampton: Boxing could take years to recover from virus mayhem

The former world champion believes once boxing returns fans will be cautious about spending money due to the financial impact of the pandemic.

Frampton expects people to be slow to return to stadiums in case there is still a chance of virus infection. - AP (REPRESENTATIVE)

Former world champion Carl Frampton fears boxing could take “months or possibly years” to recover from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Frampton believes once boxing returns sports fans will be cautious about spending money due to the financial impact of the pandemic. The Northern Irish fighter also expects people to be slow to return to stadiums in case there is still a risk of catching the virus.

Frampton, a former super-bantamweight and featherweight world champion, is also concerned fellow boxers in the lower levels will be forced out if prize money drops. “It might take a long time to recover. I’m talking months and possibly years away from getting it back to what it once was,” Frampton told BBC Radio Five Live on Saturday.

“In my position most of the money and the purse I received comes from TV, but there are guys fighting on non-televised shows that need bums on seats and need to sell tickets to make a living. If people are apprehensive about large gatherings and these guys aren’t going to be able to sell their tickets, or if people can’t afford to buy them because they’ve lost their job or for other reasons. I think it’s going to change a lot once we come out the other side of this.”

Need for reasonable pricing

Frampton, 33, echoed a suggestion from Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum about the likely need to reduce the cost of tickets to encourage fight fans to return. “I’m glad that a promoter has said that. The U.K. ticket prices are astronomical compared to America. It’s definitely something that needs to be thought about,” Frampton said.

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“If you suddenly put a fight on once this is all over how are people going to afford it if the pricing isn’t reasonable?”

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Frampton was preparing for a planned world title bout against WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring slated for mid-June, but there is no new date for the clash.