Boxing became a reality once again after the Covid19 shutdown. The last title fight was in Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY on March 7, 2020. The boxing came to a standstill. The last fight at the MGM in Las Vegas was on February 22,2020 between Wilder and Fury.
The sweet science of boxing is back as of June 9, 2020! And a science it is inside and outside of the ring. Bob Arum, Top Rank and Bob Bennett with the Nevada State Athletic Commission created the bubble within the MGM in Las Vegas. Allowing boxing in Las Vegas to be one of the first sports to make a comeback after the pandemic.
Here's how the bubble works: Everyone participating in the fights checks in, receives a mask and hand sanitizer. Upon check in they go to the assigned floor of the MGM. Immediately upon arriving on that floor, they are now part of the bubble. They go directly to testing, which consists of a swab down the throat. This process is quick and a “TESTED” wrist band is then placed on the arm of the participant. Immediately following they go to their assigned room for quarantine.
The rooms have special notification of being sanitized. Everything is noted that the environment is clean. The only time anyone here leaves their room is for meals (the fighters for training). The fighters are here as well and one room is set up for the workouts. Another room for the weigh in and then the arena.
Once cleared from the test results they leave their room, the elevator security makes sure they go from the floor they are on the the ground where a van will only pick up these individuals to take them to the conference center. The is the pattern that is used every time they leave the room. The van is sanitized before their arrival. Social distancing is practiced by all.
Once dropped off at the conference center, the tested wrist band is replaced by a wrist band with the participants name. Now to enjoy the first meal after testing. The meals are served only certain hours of the day and only to those with a wrist band. The tables are set up to accommodate more than one person, allowing enough space between each person.
The arena is kept dark and there are lights circling the arena to give the feeling of a true live event. In fact, the events are always live on ESPN+ Tuesday's and Thursday's and the audience can participate from home on the ESPN mobile app. On June 9, 2020 the" Instant Replay" came into effect. Joe Cortez and Bob Bennett reviewed and the changes were made. Three fights were rescheduled due to Covid testing and Top Rank is allowing the opportunity for the fights to happen after the quarentine has passed.
This opportunity allows fighters who have not had the TV exposure the chance to be seen. Boxing is back! Creating the road map for other sports and to follow! Top Rank, Nevada State Athletic Commission, ESPN+ and of course, Joe Cortez are in your corner.