BREAKING NEWS: Racing at Lingfield Park set to be the first sporting event in the UK to host fans since March for its meet on December 2… as 1,000 boxing fans will watch Anthony Joshua defend his world titles against Kubrat Pulev at the O2 on December 12
1,000 boxing fans will be allowed in to watch Anthony Joshua‘s world title defence against Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena on December 12 following the announcement of a new regional tier system today.
London has been placed in Tier 2 so a limited number of spectators will be allowed in to watch Joshua’s first fight in a year when he puts his heavyweight titles on the line against Pulev in the capital next month.
The news will come as a huge boost for Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn, who made it clear that he was keen to stage the fight with some fans present if it was possible.
1,000 boxing fans can attend Anthony Joshua’s fight with Kubrat Pulev on December 12
Heavyweight champion puts his belts on the line at Wembley Arena, London – which is in Tier 2
Boxing and other elite sports, including rugby and horse racing, will now be able to welcome spectators back – which for many will be the first time since the coronavirus pandemic swept Britain and forced the first national lockdown in March – if the events are being staged in areas across England in either Tiers 1 or 2. No fans will be able to attend any sporting events in locations in Tier 3.
Events taking place outdoors in Tier 1 can have 4,000 spectators present while in Tier 2 2,000 can attend. For indoor events in Tier 1 or 2 it is half the number allowed for outdoors.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed in the House of Commons on Thursday which tier each area of England has been placed in as part of the new regional restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, which come into force on Wednesday, December 2 – meaning this weekend’s big heavyweight fight between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will still be going ahead behind closed doors.
Providing London remains in Tier 2, fighting fans will also be allowed in for Billy Joe Saunders’ WBO super-middleweight title defence against British rival Martin Murray at Wembley Arena on December 4.
Matt Hancock revealed which tier each area of England has been placed in on Thursday
Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce’s heavyweight clash this Saturday is before the new rules come into force – meaning it will have to go ahead behind closed doors
December 2’s meeting at Lingfield Park racecourse, meanwhile, is set to be the first sporting event with spectators since the pilot events were abandoned in September following a second wave of infections across the country.
Tickets for the day of racing are expected to go on sale today or on Friday as they get set to welcome fans back at a limited capacity.
Other meets on the same day at Haydock, Ludlow and Kempton Park should also be able to have spectators back as they are all in Tier 2 areas.
A spokesperson at Haydock told Sportsmail: ‘It is looking hopeful that we can have fans back in on December 2 and that would be great.’
It is also expected that at least 1,000 supporters will be permitted to attend England’s Autumn Nations Cup finals game on December 6 at Twickenham.
However, Bristol Bears’ Premiership rugby clash with Northampton Saints next Friday will still have to be played behind closed doors as Bristol has been placed in Tier 3.
MORE TO FOLLOW…
Lingfield Park racecourse is set to be first competitive sporting event to welcome fans back
England play at Twickenham on December 6 and will have a limited crowd present