If you’ve been itching to see what Zuffa Boxing was all about, you’ll have to wait until at least 2021.
Contrary to last week’s report from the Montreal Journal that women’s boxing star Claressa Shields would headline the inaugural Zuffa Boxing show on December 11th, it looks as if there won’t be any card at all. The Athletic’s Sarah Shepard reported that the current COVID-19 pandemic is too much for Dana White’s boxing venture to overcome.
Despite reports to the contrary @TheAthleticBOX understands there will be no Zuffa women’s boxing event held in Nevada in December due to the current challenges posed by COVID. Huge shame - would have been a big opportunity for some of the biggest names in women’s #boxing.— Sarah Shephard (@SarahShepSport) November 11, 2020
At present there is no rescheduled date and no continuing obligation to the fighters involved, though the door has been left open for plans to be revisited in future. #boxing— Sarah Shephard (@SarahShepSport) November 11, 2020
Real kicker for the likes of Claressa Shields and Amanda Serrano who I understand were both due to have unification fights lined up.— Sarah Shephard (@SarahShepSport) November 11, 2020
Shields was supposedly set to face Marie-Eve Dicaire for the unified WBO, WBC, and IBF junior middleweight titles. She has not fought since January and now it looks like she won’t compete again until 2021.
The December 11th date would’ve been on the eve of UFC 256, which originally featured Amanda Nunes and Megan Anderson as the headliner. There have been talks regarding Shields potentially fighting Nunes, but nothing serious has ever materialized whether it’s in boxing or MMA. Nunes is now off of UFC 256 with a medical issue, and Shields never even got formally announced as the first Zuffa Boxing headliner.
And so Zuffa Boxing’s launch remains on standby, three years after White announced his plans to get into the boxing promotion business.