Nicaragua Hosts Boxing Event Where Fighters Are Sprayed With Disinfectant
The controversial boxing card took place in an arena in front of a sparse crowd. Ring girls wore face masks, and all of the fighters were sprayed with disinfectant before they took part.
In a world in which live sport has become something of a distant memory, the event was televised in the country, and saw some fans - if admittedly few - attending the event in Managua.
The promoter of the show, Rosendo Alvarez, himself a former two-time world champion, dismissed the concerns regarding the ongoing virus, suggesting that the need for the fighters to work to feed their families outweighed concerns about spreading of the disease.
Alvarez, who was known during his career as 'El Bufalo' said: "'Here we don't fear the coronavirus, and there is no quarantine. The three deaths (reported so far by the Ministry of Health) came from outside and nobody within the country has been contaminated."
He added: "Nicaragua is a poor country and the boxers have to eat. They can't stay shut up in their house."
To attempt to entice a crown in to the event, Alvarez offered up tickets for free, but only managed to fill about a tenth of the 8,000-capacity Alexis Argoello gym.
The official attendance was not actually announced. However, it seemed as if the people who did show up managed to at least maintain a safe social distance from one another.
That, obviously, didn't apply to the fighters in the ring.
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The card featured four bouts of six rounds, and also saw one main event that pitted Ramiro Blanco against Robin Zamora over eight rounds.
The whole thing was broadcast on TV on Nicaragua's state broadcaster, Canal 6. It was also shown on ESPN Latin America through the ESPN KnockOut program.
Even though it is perhaps not the main global interest in this event, Zamora came out on top and added a 16th win to his career record.
As for Blanco, he's now suffered eight losses.
The government of Nicaragua says that the country hasn't recorded that many cases, with just 11 confirmed and three deaths.
However, there have been 13,000 cases and 500 deaths reported in neighbouring or nearby countries in the Central American Integration System.
Nicaragua is still promoting events and mass gatherings such as this one, and their baseball and football leagues are still in action.
However, epidemiologist Alvaro Ramirez said: "Popular celebrations, massive funerals, marches and similar activities increase the risk of multiple simultaneous outbreaks in the whole country.
"I still don't understand what the government is betting on."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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