Opinion

Panel: How will fighting behind closed doors affect boxers?

Dereck Chisora
Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom
An expert panel, including Dereck Chisora and Adam Booth, on how to embrace a new, weird world for boxers

DEREK CHISORA
Heavyweight contender
It depends on what’s involved and who wants it more. Many of us will be able to draw on experience of effectively fighting behind closed doors in the past. I remember fighting on a Joe Calzaghe bill in Cardiff at the start of my career. Nobody was there, you get your name called, you walk to the ring and you fight. I think now, with everything that’s been going on, fighters will be ready.

ADAM BOOTH
Leading trainer
It’ll possibly affect the more experienced pros, as they’ve had longer careers where crowds are the norm. High profile fighters will need to reprogram their psyches, while accepting a sparring atmosphere. It’ll certainly be a new ride, so let’s embrace it and look forward to weird!

DAVE COLDWELL
Trainer and former pro
There are certain ‘gym fighters’ that are outstanding behind closed doors but freeze or struggle to reproduce that form under the lights. I used to be one of those fighters and they may have an advantage behind closed doors, but there are others who lift themselves in a big atmosphere. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see some upsets at the start.

ANTHONY CROLLA
Former WBA champion
People might say ‘a fight is a fight’ but there are always other factors. It will effect certain fighters differently: some who perform well in the gym could thrive while those who feed off a crowd might struggle. I think it would have affected me; I used to go up a gear and bite down on that gumshield when I had the crowd behind me.

Read an essential interview with Frank Warren on boxing coming back here

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