A Southwark boxing coach has warned of the threat to the amateur game unless measures are put in place to allow fighters back in the ring.
Lynn AC Boxing’s Terry Pearson said there is a risk of amateur boxers being lost too early to the professional ranks as they seek competitive action.
The Wells Way club reopened last week after London was place in Tier 2 of regional Covid-19 restrictions.
England Boxing have also highlighted how much would be lost to communities and the effects on physical and mental health.
“Unfortunately, amateur boxing has been overlooked since March,” Pearson said. “We had to close our doors throughout the last lockdown and then again last month.
“When we are open we are not allowed to spar or do any kind of partner work. We have to wear visors when doing pad work.
“All amateur boxing shows and championships have been cancelled since March and we have had no news on when we may return to competition. Because of this some clubs across the country have had to close their doors permanently.”
Last month, England Boxing called on people to sign a #SaveOurSports petition which is asking for funding of £1.57billion to help grassroots sports clubs survive as Covid-19 restrictions have badly hit income streams.
Data from July 25 to October 11 showed that despite 45million visits to sports sites the coronavirus incidence rate was 0.99 per 100,000 visits.
England Boxing’s chief executive officer Gethin Jenkins said: “If proper funding can’t be obtained, then the implications for our clubs is dire. A majority of our clubs operate in some of the most marginalised areas of the country and have been hardest hit.
“Many are already providing access to facilities free of charge in order to allow boxers the chance to alleviate the physical and mental health impact this pandemic has caused. Whilst there was help initially, it was meant only as a stop-gap, and that was over seven months ago, so the money is running out.
“Without boxing clubs to provide support in their local communities, then the physical and mental health impact is going to be severe and will out-last the pandemic. Help is urgently needed.”
Pearson added: “Someone urgently needs to put some measures into place to get us competing again before there are no amateur boxers left as so many are turning over to the pros just so they can compete.”