Boxing authorities in China and recently, Japan for this month of March, have temporarily suspended the holding of boxing matches in their countries as a crowd control measure to contain and prevent the spread of the dreaded coronavirus disease.
This has affected not only local promoters and fighters but also visiting foreign boxers who have depended on the two richest boxing markets in Asia for overseas exposure and income.
But it has also opened opportunities for other countries in the region to not only ramp up their domestic boxing industries but also to host major including possibly world title bouts that cannot be held in either countries due to the continuing health concerns over covid-19.
Countries like the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia which have not been as affected by the covid-19 threat have not only continued but even upped their respective domestic boxing activities while tapping other boxing markets as Australia, Russia, Mexico, the USA , North America, South Africa even India for their boxers overseas campaigns.
Significantly, Australia of late has been very active and busy in holding boxing promotions also involving fighters from the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. The sub continent in the past recent years had slowed down on guesting Filipino fighters following a series of ring incidents that claimed the lives of two local fighters.
Thailand has even hosted a world title fight with Niyamtrong Thammanoon or Knockout CP Freshmart successfully defending his WBC minimumweight title for the ninth time by unanimous decision win over Japanese challenger Norihito Tanaka yesterday in Nakhon Sawan.
Thailand will also be hosting a fight card this month featuring a number of Chinese fighters including comebacking former world flyweight title challenger Wulan Tuehalazi.
The Philippines and Indonesia have also continuously conducted boxing promotions since the start of the year but as in the case of the former, generally concentrated the holding of fights in provincial cities and population centers outside of Metro Manila also as precaution against covid-19.
Since January, Filipino promoters have organized a number of fight promotions that was highlighted by a recent big card in Cagayan de Oro City that saw the successful comebacks of former world rated Romero Duno and Aston Palicte, the crowning of Al Rivera as new Philippine welterweight champion and the continuing ring success of the fighting Mama brothers, Jason and Jayver.
However, the much awaited return to local ring action by Carl Jammes Martin, projected as the most promising Filipino world title prospect, has been on hold as fight organizer looks for suitable venue within Metro Manila.
Meanwhile fledgling pro boxing countries as Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia even non traditional boxing states in the Middle East as Jordan and the UAE have also benefited from the suspension of boxing in China and Japan as they are increasingly looked upon as alternate markets or fight venues particularly by Chinese promoters and fighters.
Jordan has been particularly busy with the staging of at least three big fight promotions featuring Chinese boxers in Amman.