By Robert Brizel, Brick City Boxing Correspondent
When former Italian and European cruiserweight boxing champion Angelo Rottoli, his mother and brother died all at once of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus, the boxing world learned immediately the effects of the pandemic could be devastating. Now, the National Football League lost one of its all-time greats to the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus, hall of fame kicker Tom Dempsey.
Coronavirus, like HIV/AIDS, does not discriminate due to age, sex, race, religion, color, creed, age, location, handicapping condition, income, political or personal beliefs. Coronavirus can strike anywhere at any time, is apparently airborne, and can even pass on paper. The boxing world and the sports world has been shocked and felled by an unknown opponent the world has yet to understand on both a national and international scale.
Sporting events, music events, public gatherings, family gatherings, friends getting together, restaurants, businesses, everyone everywhere is affected by the Coronavirus, and no end to the ongoing pandemic is on the horizon for the foreseeable future. 96 percent of Americans remain in ordered isolation at six feet distances, with all but grocery stores, hospitals, gas stations and some essential services and business open.
If martial law is imposed, that too will end. It seems likely the current state of affairs, extended through May 30, 2020, will be extended, meaning schools, houses of worship, travel, and the basic rights of freedom will have been compromised to the point most people will feel like prisoners within their own universe. The radio and television and internet still exist. The United States Postal Service and delivery services like Amazon, with their workers risking their lives even with gloves, masks, and disinfecting equipment, continue but perhaps not for much longer under these extreme circumstances.
Where does professional sports stand? People will not want to attend indoor and outdoor sporting events for years to come even if and when the Coronavirus Pandemic ends. Funerals have been compromised to the point of cremation and incineration with no funerals or burials rapidly approaching. All people are fighting for their lives, and the very concept of life. With close to 1.25 million people known infected with the Coronavirus and over 65 thousand dead worldwide, and many more than that, all the sports world can do is pray it gets a second chance at some point in the future. For now, boxing events and sporting events as a distant dream. Boxing rings and gyms are silent now. For how long?