Coronavirus crisis: the boxing world reflects - part 2
Luke G. Williams
Photo (left): Christopher Lee/Getty Images
How are members of the boxing community worldwide coping with the Coronavirus crisis? In the second of a new series, Boxing Monthly hears from Caleb Truax, Asgar Tair, Johnny Garton, Chantelle Cameron, Melissa Takimoglu and Colin Nathan...
Thankfully, none of my family or friends have contracted the virus as of yet. It has definitely had its effect, though. All us fighters are on the shelf for the foreseeable future, so we can't earn. I've been fortunate enough to make some decent money to fall back on, but I feel for fighters, the vast majority, who don't have that security. My girlfriend and I have just been spending time at home with the kids. I've been hitting my road work and anything else I can do to be ready when this problem is behind us. - Caleb Truax, former IBF super-middleweight champion
The club was forced to close, my boxers had trained hard to compete, to earn a living (professional) and all was cancelled. All money lost. Licence fees are due, costs are building and as a boxing coach there’s no income. We have to find the money to continue. We have to take a loss and we are not going to get government funding, but it’s about the well being of people. There has to be some form of funding/ grant for boxers/trainers/managers/promoters. - Asgar Tair, pro coach/ manager, owner of Gym City Boxing
Me and my family are well thank you and dealing with it well at the minute. Obviously I’m worried about my kids catching it, I have a three-year-old girl and a three-month baby girl. I'm very frustrated with my fight being postponed until July. It’s also very hard trying to find any work at the minute. I believe the worst is yet to come but also think it will clear up soon. - Johnny Garton, former British welterweight champion
My boxing has been affected as my fights have been postponed and my sponsors will be struggling to pay my sponsorship money. I’m self isolating to prevent my family from catching the virus who ain’t healthy. It’s a rough time and I cannot wait until life returns to normal again and everyone is safe. - Chantelle Cameron, mandatory WBC light-welterweight contender
After starting 2020 on an absolute whirlwind with the successful build up to Wilder vs Fury2 and then Fury becoming victorious on 22 February 22, I was taking a short break in LA before heading back to London to get stuck into the back to back campaigns MeltPR was in talks with. When the news broke about Covid-19 it hadn’t affected the UK and US at that point but I had a bad feeling. When I saw the news that the NBA had suspended their season, I knew the sports world was going to come to a halt any day. So I looked into cancelling my travel plans and waited for the official confirmation from the boxing promoters. My first concern was for all the fighters that were getting ready to fight. It’s so disappointing when your fight is pulled at the last minute, it feels almost like all you are ever doing as a fighter is waiting to fight as there is so many logistics involved. So to now not even know when boxing events will be allowed to resume must be a challenge. However all fighters can do is stay safe and, most importantly, stay ready!
As a business, of course, like any other we have taken a hit on the PR side as there are no fight campaigns to currently promote. However on the media side we are keeping busy providing access to talent to publications via the telephone as there are plenty of stories to tell, fights to look back at and even look forward to. For me personally, I think this time is going to be best used to go back to the drawing board and get the creative juices flowing. We have to prepare for what is to come. I have always thrived in difficult and challenging circumstances, and so I look to keep in touch with my fellow boxing community and keep the morale going. Mental health is going to be tested more than ever, so the more we can support each other from the comfort of our homes the better it will be for us all. Yes it’s disappointing but the health and safety of everyone is far more important. - Melissa Takimoglu [pictured left], director MeltPR
As you know I don't just train fighters. This has impacted everything I do, from coaching, to not being able to travel. I have closed the gym until further notice as it is too risky to have my fighters train at this time. I still go into the office but it's merely to check in on my fighters. I am literally, at times, merely watching YouTube old fights. There is not much we can do. Please God this settles down and the world calms down. It feels like we are living in a movie. - Colin Nathan, Head of MTK AFRICA, boxing consultant, trainer and manager, TV Presenter and commentator