Omicron coronavirus variant begins to hit boxing schedule where it hurts

Jerwin Ancajas Kazuto Ioka Omicron Boxing

The current situation with coronavirus has affected two huge fights due to the ‘Omicron’ variant. Both world title unifications.

First of all, the new year’s eve battle between junior bantamweight champions Jerwin Ancajas and Kazuto Ioka got postponed.

Promoted by Shisei Boxing Gym, Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, TGB Promotions, and Knucklehead Boxing Promotions, Ancajas (33-1-2, 22 KOs), from Panabo City, Philippines vs. Ioka (27-2, 15 KOs), from Tokyo, had the makings of the Fight of the Year.

But because of the global spread of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 and Japan’s ban against foreign travel to its country, that year will have to be 2022.

The New Year’s Eve test was the best of the 115-pound division. The bout between IBF champion Ancajas and WBO champion Ioka.

Ancajas vs. Ioka was on for Friday, Dec. 31, at Tokyo’s Ota-City General Gymnasium.

“Team Ancajas was looking forward to this historic fight against Ioka but understands there are bigger concerns than boxing in Japan and the world with the situation caused by the emergence of the latest variant,” said Sean Gibbons, president of MP Promotions.

“We remain committed to making this fight happen as soon as possible in Japan.”

GOLOVKIN OMICRON

The global spread of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 has forced the postponement of the middleweight title unification fight between IBF/IBO champion Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin and WBA champion Ryōta Murata, scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 29, at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Promoted by Teiken Promotions Inc., in association with GGG promotions, the eagerly-awaited battle between the two-time world champions Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, and Murata (16-2, 13 KOs), from Tokyo, is delayed.

Golovkin vs Murata

The fight was due to get streamed live to over 200 countries and territories, including the U.S., exclusively on DAZN (excluding Japan and Kazakhstan).

Both sides are actively exploring a new date.

“I am deeply disappointed that this fight has gotten postponed. But the health and safety of the public must always be the priority,” said Golovkin.

“I look forward to returning to the ring against Ryōta as soon as possible.”

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