WE keep hearing the word unprecedented to describe the situation we’re all in. We’re now being constantly reminded of the health implications of catching and spreading the coronavirus. News channels and social media outlets are reminding the masses of the dangerous implications of contracting the virus and the protocols relating to social distancing and enforced lifestyle changes all contribute to the seriousness of coronavirus.  

But where does that leave the boxing business? Some outside of our industry, quite understandably, may see the crisis affecting the sport as a trivial matter given the daily fatality rate and consequences of the illness that people are having to contend with at the moment. The boxing family has already suffered.

Nonetheless, people’s livelihoods do rely on our sport, both from a financial and psychological point of view. Gyms are now closed and shows suspended for the foreseeable future. Promoters have lost money, show dates and deposits are among the casualties of the pandemic. Money they won’t get back.

Managers and trainers will be affected, as well as gym owners. Rent is still demanded on facilities that can’t be used. Some won’t recover from the financial impact.

Boxers, the reason the sport exists, find themselves in limbo. Relatively short careers, in the toughest of businesses, put on hold. Some after weeks and months of preparation, with a date to aim for, are now sitting tight, like everyone else, wondering when some sort of normality will resume.

Think of the journeymen so reliant on their weekly wage as they travel up and down the country to dutifully take their licks. The small hall ticket-sellers, who worked hard to build momentum and a following to keep their dreams alive and food on their tables, now face the task of starting all over again – whenever that might me. For so many boxers, this period will not only represent a lull in action and activity, it will represent a financial crisis. Even those main event headliners who only box two or three times a year are affected. Everyone is losing time they will not get back.

Already five weeks into the lockdown and with at least another two ahead before proper training and planning and then fighting can resume, how can boxers try and put a positive spin on things?

It’s important to remember that all is not lost.

Many may have been carrying niggling injuries. Not necessarily of big enough concern for them to cease training and cancel contests but the type that never quite heals due to the constant activity put upon them. Now’s the time to let those injuries heal. Although professional help in the guise of a physio or similar might be out of the question, there is now time to rest. Spend that all important time with family that training and boxing commitments often hinders. Speak to your loved ones, give them your attention. I even recently found out my missus no longer works at Woolworths!

Get back to basics. Practice the footwork drills that might go a miss when searching for new ideas to break up the repetitiveness. Footwork and defence never goes out of fashion. Find some space and go through footwork routines that must always be a familiar part of training but don’t need much space. Incorporate blocking, parrying, slipping, pivoting, rolling, ducking. Body weight exercises and various runs outdoors (while maintaining those social distancing measures, of course) help clear the mind. The playing field has been somewhat levelled as regards activity as everyone is now in the same boat. Try not to get left behind when the green light is given to resume shows and the gyms are back open. Keep in the loop with Boxing News and stay safe! See you on the other side.