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KO’d BY CORONAVIRUS: Jose Ramirez-Viktor Postol Fight in China CANCELLED

Michael Woods

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Twenty five people have died, and more than 830 people world-wide have been been infected by the coronavirus, which is typically known to cause problems for mammals, birds, farm animals, domesticated pets–and has been hitting human beings hard in China.

In and near Wuhan, officials told people to stay put, placed them on quarantine, to prevent spread of the virus which was discovered in the 1960s, and usually causes respiratory problems in humans, but can be fatal.

This viral attack has had some far flung affects–today, promoter Bob Arum announced he was pulling the plug on his Haikou, China show running Feb. 1, in a “better safe than sorry” move.

Wuhan is a 16 plus hour drive, northward of Haikou, but Arum didn’t want to temp fate, so the Jose Ramirez (25-0) vs Viktor Postol (31-2) super lightweight title fight won’t take place in China.

The outbreak was traced to a live-animal market in late December, reports say. Some folks in the US recall that so-called SARS, which is a variety of the coronavirus, caused hysteria in 2003.

Top Rank put out a release announcing that the virus had kayoed their card, portions of which were to run on ESPN. Rick Mirigian, manager of Ramirez, coming off a career-best win against Maurice Hooker, told NYF  that he felt sad when he learned the event was being cancelled. On his Instagram, he shared that Postol is already in China, and could be stuck there. The fight will be re-set, Mirigian stated, and he is working with Top Rank on finding a landing place.

Here is the release:

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 futur

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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