The BBBoC have introduced new measures designed to bring boxing back. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse looks at some all-British classics in the pipeline...
"A crackdown on international travel could lead to a surge in all-British fights"
It's the news fight fans have been waiting for as plans were unveiled by the British Boxing Board of Control to return the noble art, paving the way for some mammoth summer showdowns.
The sport has been on lockdown since March due to the coronavirus outbreak, with several high-profile bouts already postponed or cancelled. A list of new measures was declared by the UK governing body this week, rules promoters must stick to if they plan on staging fights in the coming months.
Face masks must be worn
The most notable of these rule changes were all boxing events will take place behind closed doors. We have already seen similar measures imposed on UFC cards in America, with fighters reporting an eerie atmosphere, walking out to deserted stands, and overhearing the advice of television commentators.
Boxers will be ordered to wear protective clothing during ring walks while a skeleton corner team, referee and scoring judges will be asked to wear masks throughout. There will also be rule changes on spitting as the board work to create an environment that's as sterile as possible.
A document written by the BBBoC states every boxer will have their own spit bucket which must be covered between rounds, the canvas, ropes, and steps will be cleaned to a medical standard after each bout. Recent reports also announced plans to limit shows to five fights or less.
More all-British classics expected
With cards forced to take place without fans it will put serious pressure on promoters working without TV deals. That could mean we see many domestic fighters forced out of the game, with only the top managers and promoters able to secure work for their stable.
It has been suggested a crackdown on international travel could lead to a surge in all-British fights and that is something that has fans excited. Anthony Joshua's fight with Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev was shelved and there has been no further news on Tyson Fury vs American Deontay Wilder.
Rumours suggest we could see a unification fight between Joshua and Fury this summer live on pay-per-view. That would certainly provide a shot in the arm for British sport in these tough times. If the heavyweight stars do meet, Betfair traders have Fury as 4/9 favourite against the 13/8 of Londoner AJ and 22/1 the draw.
Fans would welcome Saunders v Eubank rematch
Other domestic dust-ups fans would be hoping to see before the end of 2020 include the rematch between Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr. That would certainly generate hype. If Saunders wanted to remain at super middleweight, the fight with Callum Smith would be a PPV blockbuster.
Ohara Davies is scheduled to battle Tyrone McKenna in the Golden Contract super lightweight final although there may be more interest in him settling a bitter feud with Anthony Fowler after trouble flared between the pair on social media. Davies is 2/9 vs the 3/1 of McKenna.
Featherweight Ryan Walsh and James Dickens have been on a collision path for some time and that too may be sorted behind-closed-doors. Supporters of Walsh will find their man priced as odds-on favourite with Betfair traders offering 4/6. Dickens can be backed at 6/5 for the upset.