A lot of people packed into AT&T Stadium in Texas to watch the bout between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders.
So many people, in fact, that the fight set a U.S. indoor boxing attendance record — even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on.
More than 73,000 fans attended the fight at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Texas, breaking the previous record set at a Muhammad Ali fight in 1978 by nearly 10,000 people.
This isn’t the first event in recent weeks to open up to fans like normal. UFC 261 on April 24 sold out the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, almost instantly. The 15,000 fans who purchased tickets, however, were met with a very stark warning that attending could lead to “death” or other “permanent damage” from the coronavirus.
The United States averaged more than 42,000 new cases on Saturday, according to The New York Times, and about 45% of Americans have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.
While case numbers are significantly down from there they were at their worst back in January, the pandemic is clearly not over and not even half of the country is vaccinated yet. And based off of videos and photos from the fight, social distancing protocols and mask wearing were non-existent.
Alvarez beat Saunders after an uppercut in the eighth round hit Saunders right in the eye — something that ended the fight and sent Saunders to a local hospital as a precaution.
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