The coronavirus pandemic has brought the boxing world to an almost complete standstill in recent months, with only a few scattered international fights taking place as fans wait for the sport to figure out a way forward. That time appears to be fast approaching as Bob Arum and Top Rank appear to have a plan with ESPN to bring boxing cards back to the network.
Arum told Boxing Scene these plans include three cards on ESPN on the first week back and two every week going forward.
"Todd [duBoef] and Brad [Jacobs] have been on the phone with ESPN, laying out the schedule for June and July," Arum said. "What they plan is that probably next week we'll announce the three events we're gonna be doing, starting June 9. We're gonna do three events that week. And most of the weeks we'll have two, but some will have three.
"ESPN has asked us not to announce individual events. They wanna announce the events as a weekly package. They're paying the money. We don't have any ticket sales to rely on. So, whatever they're asking, we're gonna go along with."
All involved parties appear to be exploring the possibility that the shows will all be held at the same location in Las Vegas, attempting to minimize the amount of risk associated with holding events during the pandemic. Though Arum said ESPN may "get innovative" and hold events in scenic locations.
Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) is expected to headline the June 9 event, while Boxing Scene has reported the June 11 show will include a bout between Jessie Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KOs) and Yenifel Vicente (36-4-2, 28 KOs, 1 NC), and Jose Pedraza (26-3, 13 KOs) against Brooklyn's Mikkel LesPierre (22-1-1, 10 KOs) is planned for June 18.