While the vast majority of the sports world is on hiatus, boxing fans in Nicaragua enjoyed some action this weekend … while wearing masks and sitting 6 feet apart.
The Central American nation is one of the very few countries still allowing sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic, so there was a fight card Saturday night at Alexis Arguello Sports Center in the capital city of Managua.
As you can see … boxers, doctors, referees, judges, media members, ring girls and fans all wore face coverings for the event, though fighters were allowed to remove their masks to throw punches.
Spectators were subject to a temperature check outside the venue before getting in, and were reportedly told to disinfect their hands and shoes upon entry before being forced to sit a safe distance apart.
It looks like everyone acted as responsibly as possible and adhered to social distancing guidelines … except the fighters, of course. Even at Friday’s weigh-in they came face-to-face, but they did have masks on.
Organizers touted the event as a message that sports must go on, and former 2-time world champion and promoter Rosendo “El Bufalo” Alvarez even dismissed the threat of the coronavirus.
Alvarez said … “Here we don’t fear the coronavirus, and there is no quarantine,” and added, “Nicaragua is a poor country and the boxers have to eat. They can’t stay shut up in their house.”
The promoter reportedly signed up 16 local boxers who needed work for the card. However, tickets were free to the event, and even so … the arena was only filled to about 1/10th capacity.
Nicaragua has only had 13 COVID-19 cases and 3 reported deaths.
The country’s boxing show comes as people in the U.S. are beginning to seriously struggle to stay indoors and self-quarantine … or follow basic social distancing rules when they are out and about.