Boxing Suspension in Japan Extends Into April!
3KingsBoxing previously reported the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC), as well as the Japan Boxing Professional Association (JPBA), announced they would suspend all boxing activities in Japan for 30 days starting March 1 as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. At that time, both entities said the suspension could last longer if concerns of the outbreak linger and/or the situation worsens.
On March 5, the JBC and the JPBA released a statement that the boxing suspension will extend to at least April 15. According to Asian Boxing, there are plans to setup a group called the Coronavirus Countermeasures Liaison Council, which will work with JBC and JPBA.
The mission of this council is to setup measures to avert the spread of the coronavirus in the country. They plan to meet on March 13 to discuss their position on events in the country after April 15.
CONSEQUENCES OF THIS DECISION
The effects of this move are obvious and immediate. It impacts not only local bouts, but fights with world title implications.
Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15 KOs) and Filipino Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20 KOs) were set to battle for the vacant WBO World Flyweight title on April 4 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. That fight is now postponed. It’s unclear at press time when or even where that fight will occur.
In Japan, especially within the lower-weight divisions, boxing is big business. Multiple world title fights take place there throughout the year.
Top local fighters such as Kosei Tanaka, WBO Super-Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka and WBA/IBF world Bantamweight champion are paid handsomely well. Each easily earns six and seven-figure purses.
And even for world champions who will fight in Japan, the reward is very fruitful. Evidence sits with Moruti Mthalane earning over $1 million when he successfully defended the IBF World Flyweight strap against Akira Yaegashi on December 23 in Yokohama, Japan.
With the 2020 Olympics also set to take place in Tokyo this summer, this is alarming news indeed. Our foremost concern goes out to the people of Japan. The sincere hope is this virus is controlled for everyone’s safety. We, of course, will keep you updated on this evolving and concerning development.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.