Michael Conlan’s fight against Belmar Preciado, which was due to take place on St Patrick’s Day at Madison Square Garden, has been postponed due to fears about the spread of COVID-19.
Conlan was due to take on the Colombian boxer in his 14th professional bout. On Thursday, it was announced that the fight would take place behind closed doors.
However, later in the day, Conlan’s promoter’s Top Rank said that the bout would, instead, be postponed.
The fight is the latest sporting event to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Shakur Stevenson’s WBO world featherweight-title defence against Miguel Marriaga at Madison Square Garden, which was due to take place on Saturday, has also been postponed.
Conlan, who is undefeated in his professional career thus far, was due to headline the card on Tuesday night at the famous arena.
Top Rank released a statement on the postponements, which reads:
“After close consultation with the New York State Athletic Commission, it has been determined that Saturday’s and Tuesday’s events cannot proceed in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
“Top Rank will work with the commission to reschedule the events as soon as it is safe for all involved. The health and safety of the fighters and their teams, and everyone involved in the promotion of these events, necessitated taking this step.
Conlan expressed his disappointment at his bout being cancelled and hopes that it could rescheduled soon.
“Unfortunately my fight has been cancelled due to Coronavirus, hopefully it can be rescheduled very soon. Gutted to say the least, few months of training for this to happen.
“Wishing everyone health at this weird time, what a crazy experience this day has been. We will go again!”
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Unfortunately my fight has been cancelled due to Coronavirus, hopefully it can be rescheduled very soon. Gutted to say the least, few months of training for this to happen. Wishing everyone health at this weird time, what a crazy experience this day has been. We will go again! #TheConlanRevolution
Speaking to The Athletic, Bob Arum, Conlan’s promoter, said that the fights could not go ahead because the New York State Athletic Commission were not able to test the boxers for COVID-19.
“We knew we had to clear the arena of fans and find out if we could test these fighters (for coronavirus) before the fight,” Arum said.
“How are we going to do that? They’re rationing these tests, for people who are sick. Even though these (fighters) may have it, they’re not sick as we know of now.
“And since the damn federal government doesn’t have the tests, Madison Square Garden asked the NBA if it had any tests we can use.”