Michael Hunter won’t be entirely comfortable until the veteran heavyweight goes to the ring Tuesday night to fight Mike Wilson.
That’s the kind of impact COVID-19 has mentally had on vaccinated boxers like Hunter, whose fight with Wilson was abruptly postponed on June 15, just four days before they were put on Teofimo Lopez-George Kambosos Jr.’s undercard in the LoanDepot Park should compete in Miami. Lopez, who was not vaccinated, tested positive for the coronavirus on the morning of June 15.
“We were all kind of shocked and devastated, but it’s something that comes with the Territory,” Hunter told BoxingScene.com. “We wanted the fighting to take place. We were already there and settled down. I’ve seen my opponent. So, it was all crappy, just flying in, being right there and then having to pull out again. “
The Las Vegas Hunter (19-1-1, 13 KOs) was lucky enough to have his fight with Wilson (21-1, 10 KOs) as the main event on Tuesday night’s Triller Fight Club show at Hulu. was moved to Madison Square Garden Theater in New York. Your 10 heads will name a card that will be offered free of charge on fite.tv from 7 p.m. EDT.
Nevertheless, postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19 have prevailed again in the last few weeks.
Last week was similar to last summer because British welterweight Conor Benn and Canadian welterweight Cody Crowley were eliminated from the respective main events against Adrian Granados (last Saturday on DAZN) and Gabriel Maestre (this Saturday on FOX). Two more bouts that FS1 was supposed to broadcast last Saturday were canceled because welterweight Justin DeLoach and junior lightweight Maliek Montgomery tested positive for COVID-19.
Many boxers have chosen not to get vaccinated, especially when training for fights, in part because they fear the side effects could hinder their preparation.
“It’s a very sensitive issue because you have a split where some people are okay with being vaccinated and others don’t,” Hunter said. “It’s just a lot of mess out there. So, I think everyone should take precautions for cleanliness, hygiene, and just their own health. I was just explaining to someone that just because you lift a lot of weights and your body is looking good, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are in good health. But then I know seven people who were vaccinated and then got COVID, so this is a very sensitive issue. “
State commissions have not required boxers to be vaccinated to compete, or promoters.
This freedom, however, increases the financial risk for television stations, streaming services, and event organizers who spend significant sums of money ahead of events only to contract COVID-19 and force postponements to unvaccinated boxers. The most expensive example, of course, is the third WBC heavyweight championship fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, which was postponed from July 24th to October 9th because Fury was doing the COVID testing less than three weeks before the actual meeting ESPN / FOX failed sports pay-per-view main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“It’s kind of scary every day not knowing what’s going to happen, who’s going to catch it,” said Hunter. “We just take a lot more precautions – where I can be, what kind of gym we’re training in, when we need to disinfect the place, who’s in the gym in situations like this.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer / columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.