It’s no secret boxing faces an uncertain future due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis which has stalled almost every high-profile sport on the planet. A packed spring/summer schedule, featuring Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Canelo Alvarez has all but been wiped out. According to predictions, the COVID-19 outbreak could last between six and twelve months, meaning normal life is off the menu for some time to come. For some superstar names in the sport, this delay to everyone’s career could prove critical. Five of those are listed below as the countdown begins on the remaining of their world championship-winning tenure in pugilism.
MANNY PACQUIAO: At 41, time is fast running out for the ‘Pacman’. Building on his special victory over Keith Thurman has proved an impossible task as Floyd Mayweather promised a rematch in 2020 only to negate before the virus hit at full force. Pacquiao could be 42 if he does eventually return to action but will be at a bigger disadvantage being a lot older than he might have been otherwise. Errol Spence Jr. or Terence Crawford have become much tougher challenges in the time away.
SERGEY KOVALEV: The big-punching Russian was already considering his next move when coronavirus halted a comeback clash with Sullivan Barrera. A bad loss to Canelo Alvarez in November, coupled with a lifestyle outside the ring not befitting a world champion, could see the final curtain come down on the ‘Krusher’.
AMIR KHANAMIR KHAN: The former super-lightweight king has denied he is considering retirement but admits his career will be cut short by this current pandemic. At 33, Khan is still relatively young. But he’s always said he wants to get out of boxing early and will all his faculties intact.
GENNADIY GOLOVKIN: Golovkin is patiently awaiting news of a trilogy fight with Canelo. ‘GGG’ is just days away from his 38th birthday, though. Having lost controversially twice before, a two-year gap to trading blows with the Mexican superstar again could prove far too much.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: This generation’s greatest fighter was linked to a return to the ring before COVID-19. Two family tragedies and a virus later, Mayweather could decide against it. The longer this lockdown continues, the worse it will be for every boxer featured.