With the BBBofC cancelling all events under their jurisdiction in March, with a review to be made in April, nearly every professional boxer is uncertain of when they could fight next. Gyms are closing to avoid spreading the illness, as well as many other businesses which are resulting to loss of earnings for millions.
BBN asked a group of pro boxers from all over the UK how they will be managing during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Carly Skelly (3-0)
Unbeaten bantamweight from Liverpool
"This pandemic is not affecting my earnings, as such, as I also work as a nurse, so I do have a regular income. However, at the minute, I’m early into my career as a professional boxer. so trying to get out there as much as possible and get myself known and building my profile is really important and obviously this has a massive impact from that point of view. But this is out of our hands and I will use this time to develop my skills. I’ll be better and stronger when I’m back in that ring, whenever that is.
As far as training is concerned, currently I’m still in the gym and training as hard as always, we can’t allow this to stop us. I’m faced with the pandemic at work everyday, my boys are worried hearing about it daily on the news and at school. So, for me, I’m trying to keep normality in mine and my family’s lives. My advice would be don’t let fear overpower us. Stay safe ride the storm and go again."
Anthony Fowler (12-1)
WBA International super-welterweight champion
"I'll train in my amateur coaches garden if I have to!"
Johnny Garton (24-2-1)
Former British welterweight champion
"I only found out my fight was postponed yesteday, so I'm going to take a few days off and relax, and spend some time with my kids. I will be back inthe iBox Gym in a couple of days, ticking over.
I stopped work to take time off for training, so haven't had any income for a couple of weeks, so currently looking for work."
IBF & WBO European featherweight champion
"I think it’s a great opportunity for fighters to find peace of mind and focus. Refined to the basics, he can learn new things about himself and grow, as well as implement a new temporary training regime. New challenge and change is good for a person and a lot of people need involuntary change imposed upon them because without this unfortunate situation A lot of people never would try anything new. It’s in these times we improve as fighters and as people.
I am fortunate enough not to be affected, as I've just had a fight, and my next scheduled fight is a few months away. I feel sorry for those affected, with bills and families to maintain. All I can say to those fighters is stay strong, there will be equal opportunity in the flip side of this coin.
I’d advise people to stop worrying, until your affected with covid-19 you are perfectly fine, your stress will not benefit you nor keep you safe, if anything, it will impair your routine. Stay positive!"
Ace Adam (1-0)
Unbeaten super-middleweight from Catford
"My second pro fight was meant to be this weekend but it was cancelled just this week, only a few days before, but I’m not really sorry, it’s people’s health and safety that are my main concern. I heard there were events still going ahead and thought that was crazy, we should be thinking of everyone’s health because we don’t even know the extent of what this virus is or how it will progress, so we need to take the necessary precautions now.
Every minor setback makes way for a major comeback. It means more time to train, to condition, to prepare. I won’t be doing much training in the boxing gym, I’ll be minimising being around groups of people and public places, I’ll still do my strength and conditioning sessions once per week, but I’ll be wearing gloves and wiping everything down!
So, I’ll mostly be at the track instead from now on, out in the open air, outside in a cleaner environment, but I’ll take precautions everywhere I go. I'm currently transitioning from a pescatarian diet to a plant-based diet, so I'll have some time to concentrate on this also.
Doesn't really affect me profoundly, I'd like it to be my full-time occupation, but I'm still working as well as a Care Supervisor at a private care within the community in Bromley."
Brooklyn Tilley (2-0)
Unbeaten super-lightweight from Rainham
"I can't train at the moment anyway, because I'm filled up with the flu, I feel rotten. But it's annoying not having a fight date because I really wanna' climb those rankings, I'm hungrier than ever. While I'm out of the gym with this cold, I'll just be doing road work."
Brad Strand (3-0)
Unbeaten super-bantamweight from Liverpool
"Just training as normal to be honest, the gyms are just a lot quieter. Loss of earnings? Yeah definitely, but everyone will be in the same boat."
Chez Nihell (4-0)
Unbeaten cruiserweight from Aldershot
"I am a serving Soldier so luckily enough I still have a wage coming in.
When I’m ticking over outside the boxing gym I run at night with my bloodhound and once I’m back I do core strength stuff on my kitchen floor - body weight stuff mainly consisting of abs and press ups. I will be doing this to keep my base fitness up until the current situation is sorted.
We have to stay positive, it’s easy to go on a negative one because of all this. I know that’s easier said than done, especially if your relying on the earnings from the sport. I was scheduled to bout soon, I wanted another twofights before the summer, but I very much doubt that will happen now, just got to roll with it."