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Top Rank to resume boxing shows in Las Vegas on June 9

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Top Rank is planning to bring boxing back in a big way with biweekly fight cards at an MGM Resorts International property in Las Vegas from June 9, according to chairman Bob Arum.

Each card will feature four to five fights on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will air on ESPN. The location is yet to be finalised but will likely be a convention room or ballroom.

Boxers expected to appear on the shows include unified welterweight champion Jose Ramirez, WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson and Australian twins Andrew and Jason Moloney.

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“We’re going to do as big of fights as we can, and we’ll go on from there,” Arum said to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Fighters live to fight. That’s their livelihood… Our guys are fielding calls around the clock from fighters who want to come on and fight on the cards.”

Arum says he has been working closely with the Nevada State Athletic Commission to put strict coronavirus protocols in place to protect everyone involved in the promotions.

This includes testing boxers and their cornermen upon their arrival to Las Vegas and locating them in safe lodgings. Broadcaster, technicians and anyone else on-site will also be tested.

“It’s not going to be optimum… but we’re going to do it in a medically, scientifically approved way,” Arum said. “Everybody in that room will have been tested, will be currently tested and will be coronavirus free.

“This is going to be as safe as possible. You couldn’t ask for more safety as far as the coronavirus.”

With strict travel restrictions in place it was initially thought that any prospective shows would be limited to boxers already in the US, however it is now understood that any foreign boxer with a valid visa could fight.

This has come as welcome news for undefeated super flyweight Andrew Moloney.

“Lucky for us we used lockdown as a chance to improve, kept positive and stayed ready,” Moloney posted to social media on Monday.

“We got approved to fly on Thursday afternoon and jumped straight on the plane to Vegas the next day.

“Absolutely pumped to make my American debut. Fight date and opponent coming soon!”

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