Covid surge: Asian Boxing Confederation set to scrap Delhi tourney

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NEW DELHI: Due to the upsurge of COVID-19 cases in India, the Asian Boxing Confederation is set to scrap the Asian Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships, originally scheduled from May 21 to 31 in the Indian capital, one of the virus hotbeds in the country.

The event, scheduled to be held here at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex, was first postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. The tournament was supposed to draw boxers from 32 countries and was to be the first ring competition for Asia in 2021.

"The elite men and women's boxing tournament is scheduled to start from May 21, but the prevailing situation is so scary that participating countries wouldn't like to travel to New Delhi, which is one of the hotspots for coronavirus in India," a Boxing Federation of India (BFI) official told IANS.

“The Asian Boxing Confederation, of which I am a member, is looking at alternative host cities for the tournament," Ed Picson, the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines secretary-general, was quoted as having said by local media. “We will be looking at either Dubai or Bahrain. We will know in a few days.”

Since March, several elite women boxers attending the national camp in New Delhi are either recovering from a bout of Covid-19 or have recovered and are yet to resume training, IANS reports.

The men's boxing squad too has been hit hard due to coronavirus in Patiala's National Institute of Sports (NIS). Between February and March, more than 15 boxers tested positive for virus and had to undergo treatment.