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boxing Frank Warren
Boxing gyms are currently shutdown. Getty Images
In his weekly update, Robert Smith of the British Boxing Board of Control insists discussions are underway for boxing to return when it is safe to do so

WE recognise that professional sport is not the most important issue at present, however, the BBB of C wants all licenced boxer’s to maintain good physical and mental health. Rest assured that behind the scenes we are working hard to ensure that boxing returns the moment it is safe to do so.

As a professional boxer what should I do during the COVID-19 lockdown?
During this period of great uncertainty, the advice remains the same. Though it can be frustrating, we urge you to stay at home. As ever, the only reason to not do so is to get food, to exercise within government guidelines and for employment outside of boxing. When out, ensure you stay two metres away from other people. Always remember to wash your hands and stay updated with the pandemic at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Can I still train during this period?
Yes. Lots of exercise can be done at home. Please follow the government advice on exercising outside of your home.

Can I spar or go to the gym?
No. Sparring, going to your gym or boxing club currently do not comply with Government guidance on social distancing and lockdown. Please respect the rules.

How do I look after my mental wellbeing?
Maintain virtual communication with family, friends and training partners. Use FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, or other types of technology to stay connected. Remember, it’s good to talk. Stay active and continue to train from home. Eat a well-balanced diet that includes all major food groups. Keep well hydrated. Keep your water bottle clean and don’t share with others. Make sure you get enough good quality sleep. If you feel your mental wellness is worsening and you are struggling then self-help resources that may be helpful: www.mind.org.uk

What steps are being taken for boxing to return to the UK?
Online meetings with government officials and medical staff are ongoing. We’re at the mercy of advice from the government and, of course, how long the lockdown lasts. Until this is clearer, we cannot move forward with firm plans. However, we’re hopeful that boxing will be in a position to return by July, though this will almost certainly be behind closed doors but in front of television cameras. Some promoters have indicated they may prefer to wait until the new season begins in August.

We will provide more in-depth information from these meetings next week.

We would like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.

Please stay home and stay safe.

NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE IN!
‘I’m more determined than ever!’ says the head of Ringside Charitable Trust

DAVE HARRIS is adamant that coronavirus will not stop his charity’s march to opening a residential care home for ex-boxers. Never before has it been more apparent that this is needed, as former fighters up and down the country find themselves increasingly isolated and alone.

“Can you imagine if our home was up and running now?” Harris said. “With old fight films playing in the cinema room and conversation about boxing everywhere, the place would be alive and the residents happy and secure without a care in the world. The rest of us would want to go on holiday there!”

Indeed, Harris’ vision remains as crystal clear as the moment it was first formed. Since then, Harris – accompanied by his tireless Ringside Charitable Trust team – has made significant progress. But the help of the boxing industry, particularly from those at the top, is still required to get it over the line.

“I know who has been helpful and generous, and of course, I know those who have not. Surely they want to be involved in this? It will certainly speak volumes if they don’t.

“I appreciate we’re all going through uncertain times at the moment, but it will get harder and harder to ignore me when this is over. I’m more determined than ever to ensure we conquer the mountain, believe me.”

Fundraising plans – that include the release of the single Never Give Up, Never Give In and a Park Lane launch event – have been postponed but not cancelled. With everyone’s help, 2020 can still be a successful year for Ringside Charitable Trust.

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