BARROW boxer Liam Conroy was on his way to the draw for the semi-finals of the light heavyweight Golden Contract tournament when he found out his fight wouldn’t be going ahead.

It was on Tuesday when the British Boxing Board of Control made the decision to cancel all shows under their jurisdiction until the end of the month due to to the coronavirus pandemic.

That put paid to Conroy’s scheduled bout at York Hall that would have taken place tonight, where he would have faced one out of fellow Englishman Hosea Burton, Germany’s Serge Michel or Latvia’s Ricards Bolotniks.

The 27-year-old had travelled down to London the day before but the long trip was ultimately a wasted one and he, like every other fighter in the country, now has no idea when he will be allowed to step into the ring again.

“It’s been a bit of a weird week because I was half-expecting it but the government never really made a clear requirement for shows to be called off, they just mentioned ‘unnecessary social gatherings’ and stuff," said Conroy.

“It had been discussed that we’d be doing it without a crowd there and that seemed pretty promising, right up until I was leaving my hotel to go to the draw. As I was leaving, one of the other semi-finalists came over and told me that it had been called off altogether.

“I think because I’d got there and I’d seen everyone else and everyone had been saying they’d do it behind closed doors, I’d kind of got it in my head that it would definitely be happening, so it was a bit of a kick in the teeth to find out it wasn’t.”

It was particularly disappointing for Conroy because of all the hard work he’d put in during training over the past six weeks with his employers, BAE Systems, allowing him extra time off for the fight.

Conroy claims he is in the best shape he’s ever been, saying: “I’d really put my heart and soul into this training camp so it’s quite heartbreaking but at the same time I can see why it’s necessary to protect our vulnerable people. If they feel it’s necessary to stop people dying then a boxing match cannot be the be-all and end all, although it would have been nice to find out before I got all the way to London.”

Mercifully for Conroy, his job as a mechanical fitter with BAE means not being to step into the ring as a professional boxer doesn’t mean his income will dry up completely during the sport’s suspension, which is something many of his peers are having to worry about.

“I'm fortunate that I do have a day job to back to,” Conroy said.

“But I was speaking to Hosea Burton while I was down there and he’s not got a purse to live off now. That was his only income and he’s relying on sponsors now to keep him going until his next fight. I’m fortunate to be in a position where my job keeps me going, but I’m a bit gutted.”