The 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan will be postponed until 2021 and that was a moment that made some people finally realize this coronavirus covid-19 outbreak is a serious pandemic.
I actually spoke to some of my friends and co-workers online during quarantine about this virus and they believed the Olympic Games would still take place because it’s months away in the summer.
They had no clue the severity of this virus and felt it could clear up by summer.
The UFC and Boxing are different sports compared to team sports that rely on large attendance and live gates.
Boxing like mixed martial arts mainly relies on Pay-Per-View buys at a set price to make the majority of their revenue.
I know UFC president Dana White is getting some heat for defying protocol and insisting that UFC 249 Khabib vs Tony Ferguson was going to take place even in an isolated area because the fight had been canceled several times before and he feels its his duty to make sure this event finally takes place.
White also feels having some type of sporting event live is a great morale booster for the people in these serious times.
I agree with the UFC boss because even just being able to watch something live even an event like Boxing or MMA gives you that glimmer of hope that things can still be normal.
It turns out UFC 249 will still take place on April 18, but undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will no longer be headlining against Tony Ferguson because of travel restrictions do to the virus. Instead the brawler Justin Gaethje has filled in as the late replacement and Dana White won’t tell his fighters or the press where the exact location is just yet, but the show will go on.
White also told TMZ Sports that he secured a private island where he will fly out fighters for international cards to take place.
I know several boxing promoters including Bob Arum and Eddie Hearn have blasted White for his desire to continue making MMA events during this pandemic, but if UFC is successful with these events and all goes well, they might change their tune and follow suit.
If the UFC takes the proper safety precautions, and makes sure everyone is healthy and things are sanitary, it would help give people who are trapped at home some normalcy even if they are not fight fans they may tune in and watch to see a live event on TV.
I think if Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua fought in empty venues on PPV it would also bring people around the globe some enjoyment and it would definitely boost Pay-Per-View sales.
Most big boxing and MMA PPV events are not reliant on live gate and attendance, so this could benefit the fighters financially as well.
I think these boxing promoters will also have to take into consideration that these are tough times financially for many people and it would be reasonable to lower the PPV price if they do decide to put on boxing matches during quarantine.
The average US PPV price for a big fight is $79.99, I think if they lowered it to $59.99 it would be reasonable and they should take a portion of the earnings and donate it to help those in need during this pandemic.
I think Dana White is doing what he feels is right, and he expressed the notion that you can’t just give up, you have to find ways to work around these type of things to make things happen, and if he can pull it off and put money in fighters pockets so they can continue making a living during these times more power to him.