The two Barnsley boxers who were set for fights at the Metrodome tonight believe the show’s cancellation will just be a small setback in their journeys to the top of the sport.

JA Metcalfe and Callum Simpson had been set to compete in separate bouts in front of a crowd of around 800 in their hometown. But the show was cancelled by the British Boxing Board of Control, along with all other sporting events in the country this week.

Simpson, an unbeaten 23-year-old light-heavyweight, had been due to face Dylan Courtney. He said: “I am absolutely gutted. Everything had been going really well in the gym and sparring, I was breaking records in my circuit training. I had sold more tickets than ever before and it was going to be a great event at a packed-out Metrodome.

“I had booked this week off work and was just delivering the last few tickets to my fans when I heard the news. It’s hard when you work towards something and then it gets cancelled, but it’s for a good reason. I wouldn’t want anyone coming to see me box and getting sick as a result. I was already telling my older fans and people who have medical conditions that they shouldn’t come. I will just keep myself in peak condition and be ready for whenever I can fight again. There are lots of shows planned in the local area this year so hopefully I can get on some of them if it is safe to do so later in the year.

“I am only 23 so it shouldn’t have too much of an impact on my career. “I am still hoping to fight at least three times this year then try to get a title shot next year, either at Central Area or English level. I want to go all the way in the top. “I love the sport and I put in a lot of hard work and dedication.”

Metcalfe, a 19-year-old super-middleweight from Cudworth, was set to fight for the second time in his professional career. He said: “It’s really disappointing but it’s all about health and safety. You can’t argue with the decision. I had worked really hard in the build-up to the fight to get in good condition so it’s frustrating but I have given myself this week off to have a break then I will get back to training.

“Hopefully I can still fight two or three times in 2020. I need to get more experience as a pro boxer, which is what I would have got at the Metrodome, but I am only 19 so there is plenty of time to do that in the future. I want to make it all the way to the top and become a world champion. But we will take it step by step because there is no rush. I am still adapting after turning pro and getting used to fighting older, bigger men as I learn the trade.”