Aberdeen boxer Dean Sutherland felt it would be wrong to compete behind closed doors during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sutherland was due to fight at the weekend at Trump Turnberry but yesterday’s announcement by the British Boxing Board of Control to postpone all proposed cards will keep him out of action for the foreseeable future.
It had been mooted that certain fights could take place without an audience but Sutherland said it would not be right to continue without fight fans.
He said: “The safety of spectators comes first. There was no question of doing shows behind closed doors – it’s an entertainment business and if you take away fans then it just becomes a business. No one wants to be involved in that.
“The entertainment side of things, as a fighter myself, I want to feed off the crowd and impress it, draw from the atmosphere to improve my performance. If you can hear a pin drop then that’s not going to help in any way.”
It was a less than ideal camp for the potential fight anyway, with niggling injuries playing their part. There were also difficulties in getting sparring and an opponent finalised for the weekend, with Sutherland informing his manager Sam Kynoch last weekend it made sense for him to pull out.
He added: “I spoke to my manager and cancelled it with him on Sunday evening, because we were struggling to get an opponent and then the fact we couldn’t get anyone from other shows which had been called off.
“It was taken out of our hands by the restrictions. It’s a shame but to be 100% honest, it’s not been the best training camp.
“I’ve had injuries and problems getting sparring set up. It’s maybe a wee bit of a blessing in disguise.
“I was supposed to have a sparring session in Glasgow – me and my brother were supposed to be going. Within five days we had four or five sparring partners pull out, with either having symptoms or knowing someone who’s had symptoms and not wanting to risk it.”
Sutherland had set the target of adding further to his title collection in 2019. Victory over Keane McMahon in Aberdeen last year earned him his first professional belt, the BUI celtic welterweight title.
The unbeaten 21-year-old was last in action in February, beating Basi Razaq on points at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley.
He intends to keep training as much as possible through the sport’s shutdown, in preparation for any opportunities arriving when the sport resumes.
Sutherland added: “Everyone is in the same boat so it doesn’t affect things in a sporting sense. It’s affecting other sports and it’s sad being a sports fan, with the amount that’s being cancelled. It’s taken a massive hit.
“Every single day, it has a much bigger impact. Until you break it down to it affecting your discipline, you then see how big a problem it is.”