Like rival promoter Bob Arum, Golden Boy’s Oscar De La Hoya has his sights set on a summer return for boxing. He tells Forbes that GBP is “discussing plans to restart in July,” naming a number of potential host states.
“America needs sports right now and we’re very confident that we will be able to resume within the next few months.” said De La Hoya.
De La Hoya went on to add that “Boxing is a sport that has survived wars and the most significant events we’ve lived through in recent times. Boxing has always been able to survive and I don’t expect this time to be any different.”
As to when exactly that might happen, De La Hoya noted that “We are discussing plans to restart in July and have had conversations with the commissioners of various states including California, New York, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada.”
Interestingly, De La Hoya does not name Florida, whose odd decision to name the WWE an “essential business” theoretically opens the door for boxing’s early return in the Sunshine State.
As far as logistics, the revived cards would take place behind closed doors and with an “aggressive” testing protocol, which is really the only feasible way to go about it.
In an unexpected but not unwelcome turn, he also says that he has spoken to EA Sports about reviving the long-dormant Fight Night franchise, the last installment of which came out in 2011.
“We’ve explored a number of different possibilities and have had discussions with EA Sports about potentially using this time as an opportunity to revive the Fight Night franchise.”
Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn had previously claimed that EA Sports “don’t really seem interested in boxing and Fight Night” and teased the possibility of making his own game, presumably with blackjack and hookers. Frankly, I’ve got more faith in Oscar’s plan, though I refuse to buy it if Winky Wright can’t consistently smash Carlos Monzon.
It looks as though worldwide boxing is gravitating towards an early/midsummer return; the real question now is how stacked those new cards will be. With gyms closed pretty much everywhere besides Georgia, everyone but the top fighters who can afford workarounds likely won’t be at their best, and it’s hard to ask someone to risk a career-derailing defeat against a dangerous opponent when they can’t prepare properly.