MPBCB cautious on boxing return
Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) has said it will not rush to sanction local fights despite the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) suggesting that fights can be sanctioned in safe environments.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman announced that there was an expectation that professional boxing would return without spectators as a precautionary measure to Covid-19 pandemic.
Sulaiman recently told www.firstpost.com that the WBC had produced a protocol for fights during the coronavirus pandemic that limit, for instance, a four-fight card to about 40-50 people at a venue.
“Those numbers include one handler for each fighter, boxing commission supervisors, media and TV production crews,” Sulaimana told the website.
However, MPBCB president Lonzoe ‘Defector’ Zimba said they would consult Ministries of Health and Sports before sanctioning fights in the country.
“It is indeed true that WBC president has given its affiliates consent to resume boxing but under some safety guidelines. On our part we will liaise with both the Ministry of Sports and Health on how to go about it since sporting activities remain suspended,” he said.
Zimba said it was possible for local boxing to resume as safety and health measures can be taken.
“We can limit the number of spectators and also observe social distance. Spectators and others would be required to wear face masks and also wash hands with soap or hand sanitisers. Boxers will also be required to undergo mandatory Covid-19 test to be eligible to compete,” he said.
However, Malawi National Council of Sports acting executive secretary, Henry Mereka, said it was difficult to comment on the issue in absence of official communication.
“I can’t say whether we will allow them to sanction fights because we haven’t received a formal communication. Up until we get it that’s when we can issue our stand,” he said.
Sporting activities including boxing in the country remain suspended. Government barred public gatherings and sports events as a precautionary measure to coronavirus.