Boxing set to return to US next month with Top Rank cards
Boxing is set to return to the US next month after leading boxing promoter Bob Arum announced plans to stage a series of fights at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Arum told AP he will stage a five-fight card on 9 June and a second fight card two nights later. The MGM Grand and other Las Vegas hotels are expected to open in the first week of June.
Both fight cards, held behind-closed-doors, will be aired by international sports broadcaster ESPN, which has a long-term deal in place with Arum’s promotion company Top Rank to air fights on its main network and streaming service ESPN+.
Top Rank’s last card was the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder heavyweight title match-up in February, which was aired by ESPN and pay-television broadcaster Fox.
Fighters are to be announced after the fights have been approved by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
The NAC will meet next week to consider the events, along with the two cards mixed martial arts’ Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to stage at its facility in Las Vegas.
Arum added the plan is to have twice-weekly shows in June and July.
UFC returned to action earlier this month with cards in Florida, including a pay-per-view event that took place without fans. However, UFC president Dana White faced significant criticism after a fighter and two of his cornermen tested positive for the coronavirus the day before the fights and then again after.
Arum said: “Our protocols will be much more stringent than UFC had in Florida. In ours you wouldn’t have a fighter testing positive the day of the fight or the day before.”
The announcement comes as British promoter Eddie Hearn said earlier this week he plans to hold fights beginning on 15 July from the backyard garden of Matchroom Sport's headquarters in Essex.