Swindon boxing promoter Mark Neilson admitted the scheduled closure of the Oasis Leisure Centre is a “huge blow” for the town and for boxing.
Following last week’s shock news that Swindon’s iconic Oasis Leisure Centre is set to close, Neilson told Your Sport’s George Stratford that his promotions company Neilson Boxing will have to utilise other venues in the town.
“It is a real blow for Swindon,” said Neilson. “The Oasis has put on boxing shows for years.
“It has been an iconic venue for boxing.
“It is an electric venue when it is full.”
While 2020 has been a write off for Neilson’s shows, he is hopeful that the introduction of a coronavirus vaccine could see him stage shows sooner rather than later in 2021.
However, with potential social distancing rules for crowds along with coronavirus testing for those directly involved in the events, Neilson doesn’t anticipate being able to host bumper bills as he does in the past.
“Boxing has just been turned off,” added Neilson. “Fortunately I don’t rely on that as my sole income but lots of people do and I feel for them.
“After the first lockdown we hoped boxing would come back with a bang.
“I’m hoping there is some light at the end of the tunnel and we can go back to having crowds next year but we’ll have to remodel the finances a bit and have shows with less fights.
“When it opens again I think it will go mental.”
Watch the full interview with Mark Neilson by clicking on the video below.
Interview by Your Sport’s George Stratford.