Wed, 23 Sep 2020

Nevada officials mull return of boxing in Las Vegas

22 May 2020, 07:12 GMT+10

Boxing could be back on in Las Vegas in June, with the Nevada State Athletic Commission to consider bout applications at a 27 May meeting.

The meeting, which will be via telephone rather than in-person as coronavirus social distancing measures remain in place, will be the NSAC's first since it shut down all combat sports in the state on 14 March.

The meeting agenda lists consideration of formal protocols for protecting fighters and their camps from Covid-19 "for events held without the presence of a live audience."

The commissioners will also consider an application from Dana White's mixed martial arts Ultimate Fighting Championship to hold bouts in Vegas on May 30 and June 6.

And they will consider a request from Bob Arum's Top Rank to stage a boxing fight card on June 9 at the MGM Grand.

Approval of the applications will depend on whether the commission decides it can remove or modify the restrictions it imposed after Nevada governor Steve Sisolak closed the state, including all casinos, in March.

Nevada began a multi-stage reopening process in May.

ESPN reported that Arum wants to stage live fights in Las Vegas on the ninth and 11th, bouts that ESPN would broadcast.

So far, potential fighters have not been announced.

The US sports network said the commission has been working with a Salt Lake City laboratory accredited by the World Anti-doping Agency to establish COVID-19 testing procedures.

UFC has already returned to action after an enforced hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The promotion held three live events in Jacksonville, Florida, on 9 May, 13 May and last Saturday - all without fans.

One fighter scheduled to compete on May 9, Brazil's Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, and two of his cornermen tested positive and were removed from the card, with UFC chief Dana White insisting that Souza's positive test was proof the safeguards put in place were effective.

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