Earlier in the week the Olympic Qualifying Tournament that was set to take place in Wuhan was cancelled! This left major question marks about whether or not the February 2nd Top Rank show in Haikou would follow suit.
Soon after the Wuhan event was cancelled China actually announced a that Beijing was on lockdown and that festivities, which were being held for Chinese new year, would be cancelled on medical grounds.
Although this didn't relate to Haikou directly it did seem like it would take the decision out of Top Rank's hands, especially given how the virus can, and has, spread, rapidly.
Late last night Top Rank did what was expected and cancelled the event.
At the moment it's unclear what the plan is, though Top Rank and ESPN will begin looking at other options for the fighters, notable the men in the main event which would have pitted Jose Carlos Ramirez (25-0, 17) and Viktor Postol (31-2, 12), who were were set to fight in a mandatory defense.
It would seem likely that either the show will be shifted geographically, potentially taking place on the same date but elsewhere, or whether it will need to be shifted in terms of date.
Notably Ramirez was actually set to fly out to China yesterday, though was obviously made aware of the decision to cancel the show, and advised not to travel to China. Postol however is currently in China, where he was putting finishing touches to his preparations, and may end up being stuck there for the foreseeable future.
The decision to cancel the event saw Top Rank release an announcement, explaining the situation.
Jose Ramirez-Viktor Postol Junior Welterweight World Championship Fight Postponed Due to Coronavirus in China
(Jan. 23, 2020) — Jose Ramirez’s WBC/WBO junior welterweight world title defense against former world champion Viktor “The Iceman” Postol — originally scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN from Mission Hills Haikou in Hainan, China on Saturday, Feb. 1 — has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.
The Ramirez-Postol bout will be contested at a date and venue to be determined.
“The health and safety of our fighters and everyone working on the event is the most important thing,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We hope the situation is brought under control soon. We look forward to staging events at Mission Hills Haikou in the very near future"
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