Top Rank promoter planning twice-weekly reveals at the MGM Grand
Last Updated: 21/05/20 8:36pm
Bob Arum plans to stage a card of 5 fights on June 9 at the MGM Grand, the first of a sequence of bouts over the subsequent two months at the Las Vegas lodge.
A second struggle card will probably be held two nights later, kicking off twice-weekly reveals at the lodge in June and July.
The promoter says no followers will probably be allowed and fighters – and everybody else – will probably be examined no less than twice throughout struggle week for Covid-19.
The fights are pending approval of the Nevada Athletic Commission, which meets subsequent week to contemplate the occasions, together with two playing cards that the UFC plans to stage at its facility in Las Vegas.
They are additionally pending the reopening of the MGM and different Las Vegas accommodations, one thing that’s extensively anticipated to occur the first week of June, although no dates for a second part of easing virus restrictions have been introduced by Nevada governor Steve Sisolak.
“Once we get those fights in and UFC gets its initial fights in, both of us will ask for additional dates,” mentioned Arum.
“The key was getting enough testing, and we’ve got plenty of testing in Nevada to hold our events.”
The British Boxing Board of Control is ‘hopeful’ the sport will return in July, however the governing physique has warned that restrictions might be enforced in this nation.
Promoter Eddie Hearn plans to carry fights at his Matchroom headquarters in Essex.
Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya has additionally talked about returning with a July four card, although he has provided no particulars.
UFC returned to motion earlier this month with playing cards in Florida, together with a pay-per-view occasion, that came about with out followers.
Arum declined to say who could be combating on June 9 however mentioned the playing cards could be expanded to three-hour reveals, Arum mentioned, and have a predominant occasion, a co-main and three supporting fights.
“These will be the same guys we were going to have before to the extent possible,” he mentioned.
“Guys like (Olympic medalist) Shakur Stevenson and others who would have been fighting on our cards.”
Stevenson was set to headline a Top Rank card in March at Madison Square Garden when it was known as off at the final minute due to the pandemic.
Another Top Rank fighter, Ireland’s Michael Conlan, was to struggle in New York on St Patricks Day, however Arum mentioned Conlan won’t be on the upcoming playing cards as a result of he’s unable to journey from Ireland.
Arum mentioned fighters and cornermen will probably be examined after they arrive in Las Vegas the week of the struggle and will probably be housed on a bubble flooring at the MGM Grand. They will probably be allowed out solely to eat at an authorised restaurant in the lodge or to coach at the Top Rank health club.
Fighters may also be examined the evening earlier than they struggle. The double exams ought to eradicate the problem the UFC had when a fighter examined optimistic and was faraway from the UFC 249 card, Arum mentioned.
“Our protocols will be much more stringent than UFC had in Florida,” mentioned Arum. “In ours you wouldn’t have a fighter testing positive the day of the fight or the day before.”
Arum credited Jim Murren, the former MGM CEO who leads a state process pressure coping with the virus, with ensuring there are sufficient exams accessible for fighters, judges, commissioners and anybody else concerned on web site. He mentioned 60-70 individuals could also be examined on struggle day alone, utilizing exams that can provide outcomes in a few hours.
While pre-pandemic fights had been held in the 16,000-seat MGM Grand Garden, Arum mentioned the fights will probably be held in a conference space or ballroom at the lodge.
There will probably be no media allowed, no less than at the starting, he mentioned, due to the logistical problem of testing extra individuals.