Nicaragua will host a live boxing event on Saturday amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Professional boxing will return at the Alexis Argüello Sports Center in Managua with an eight-fight card organized by Bufalo Boxing Promotions.
“Here in Nicaragua there is no quarantine,” said Ricardo Alvarez, former world champion and promoter of the event. “The government of Nicaragua and the Minister of Health have made a great effort so that the pandemic did not leave a mark on this country.”
The card will be headlined by an eight-round bout between Ramiro Blanco and Robin Zamora in the lightweight division, plus half a dozen six-rounders and a four-round opening fight.
“As an extra precaution, we are going to ask fans to not sit together, that they keep one meter of distance between them. And the commissioners, the doctors, the trainers are obviously going to have to wear masks, latex gloves. We have been lucky that the cases we have had have been few, and we all need to work, so we are making this effort,” Alvarez said.
“As a promoter of boxing, we have the responsibility to provide all the fans who go to the event with the necessary conditions for their safety. We will measure the temperature of the participants, commissioners and fans; there will be alcohol in gel, soap, water — the facilities are suitable for this event, and we will prioritize the safety and health of all.”
According to national authorities, Nicaragua has only 10 detected cases of COVID-19 among its population, of which at least eight are from outside the country. Two people died, according to reports.
Nicaragua is one of the few nations that have allowed the practice of professional sports during the pandemic. Soccer, baseball and boxing have been played even with fans in the stands. Belarus is another country where professional sports continue to be practiced, and preseason baseball games were underway Tuesday in South Korea.
Boxing commissions on American soil, in England, Mexico and Japan have declined to organize events.
ESPN Knockout will broadcast the fights in Latin America.