The 2021 Asian Elite Boxing Championship will no longer be held in New Delhi, India which continues to experience an astronomic rise in COVID-19 cases.
Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines secretary general Ed Picson revealed to Manila Standard that the Asian Boxing Confederation is “looking for an alternate host city. Baka Dubai or Bahrain.”
India has reported the world’s highest daily cases for the third day with an average of 300,000-plus. Virus cases in India now stands at 16.6 million.
Citing the serious COVID-19 threat in India, the Philippine Sports Commission recently disapproved ABAP’s request to finance the 11-man national boxing team’s participation in New Delhi on May 21 to 31.
The PSC does not want to be part of the move that may put the national boxers at risk, especially those who are going to the Tokyo Olympics in July, when they head to a virus hotbed like New Delhi.
In a report by Peter Lucas over Radyo Pilipinas 2, PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez said the “PSC Board disapproved the India trip for health and safety concerns.”
“The risk in going to India outweighs the benefits,” Fernandez added.
The PSC, however, approved to finance another one-month extension of the Filipino boxers’ training bubble in Thailand until end of May.
But with the Asian tourney going to a different venue where COVID-19 cases are low or almost nil, Picson said they will ask the PSC to reconsider the request.
ABAP might have to send another request once the new host country is finalized.
“After a long hibernation period, the exposure to a high-caliber tournament such as this Asian Championships, is essential. We hope we can take advantage of this opportunity,” added Picson.
The team is composed of seven male and four female boxers, including Tokyo Olympics-bound Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, Iris Magno and Carlo Paalam.