Los Angeles’ first boxing card since the coronavirus outbreak in March was held Saturday evening at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles without a live audience.
The California State Athletic Commission approved emergency regulations July 20 allowing for professional boxing, mixed martial arts and other combat sports to resume in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The regulations call for the creation of a “quarantine bubble” around each licensed event. All fighters, their training teams and event personnel, including referees, judges and staff will be tested prior to the event and remain in isolation until its conclusion.
The regulations spell out requirements for physical-distancing protocols, the use of personal protective equipment, infectious disease advance screening, and testing, cleaning and disinfecting of hotel accommodations and sporting venues, along with general event operations as determined necessary by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health and applicable local health officials, in consultation with the commission’s Advisory Committee on Medical and Safety Standards.
Fighters, along with their licensed cornermen, are required to travel separately from other people present at the event location unless they are part of the same household. They are also required to keep at least a six feet of distance from other people in “traffic areas” where they are staying and at the event venue.
Everyone at weigh-ins must maintain at least six feet of distance with others and wear face coverings and disposable gloves. Everyone other than boxers are required during fights to wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth.
Judges will be seated ringside behind a plexiglass, clear, shatterproof and impermeable barrier or provided with a clear face shield or clear safety goggles with a commission staff-approved face covering provided by the promoter, which will protect from contact with bodily fluids expelled from the ring.
Judges must sit at least six feet from each other unless the executive officer determines, prior to the event, that physical distancing of more than six feet is required.
“This is a tremendous safety and mitigation strategy,” said athletic commission Chair John Carvelli. “CSAC has developed tactics through this regulation that focus on prevention, testing and, in the event of a positive COVID-19 test, isolation.
“CSAC is doing everything it can to ensure the likelihood of transmission is low.”
The card was the third in the state following the suspension of boxing in March following cards at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio July 24 and Omega Products International Event Center in Corona July 26.
In Saturday’s main event, Jamal “Shango” James of Minneapolis won the interim World Boxing Association welterweight championship with a 12-round unanimous decision over Thomas Dulorme of Puerto Rico.