Hiroto Kyoguchi's light flyweight title bout scrapped after WBA champion tests positive for COVID-19

Kyoguchi, 26, who had been due to face Thanongsak in Osaka on Tuesday, tweeted simply: 'I'm really sorry' without giving any further details.

Agence France-Presse November 02, 2020 17:47:04 IST
Hiroto Kyoguchi's light flyweight title bout scrapped after WBA champion tests positive for COVID-19

File image of WBA light flyweight super champion Hiroto Kyoguchi. Image credit: Twitter/@WBABoxing

Tokyo: Japan's WBA light flyweight super champion Hiroto Kyoguchi has tested positive for the coronavirus , his gym announced Monday, forcing organisers to scrap his title defence against Thailand's Thanongsak Simsri.

Kyoguchi, 26, who had been due to face Thanongsak in Osaka on Tuesday, tweeted simply: "I'm really sorry" without giving any further details.

"We learned today that Kyoguchi and his trainer tested positive for the coronavirus ," a staff member at Kyoguchi's gym told AFP.

"The title match scheduled for tomorrow is cancelled," she said, adding it might be rearranged for a later date.

Kyoguchi has so far shown no symptoms, local media said.

Both Kyoguchi and Thanongsak, 20, are currently 14-0 as professionals. Kyoguchi had been due to defend his title in May, but the bout was postponed because of the pandemic.

The Thai boxer had been self-quarantining in Japan ahead of the bout at an Osaka arena where organisers planned to halve the number of spectators to around 2,000 as part of anti-infection measures.

The abrupt announcement came just hours after the two boxers passed their weigh-ins.

It would have been the first men's world title match held in Japan since the pandemic began.

Kyoguchi's local fans appeared understanding of the cancellation, with one tweeting: "You should not be sorry. We are looking forward to the next match."

Japan is making a tentative return to hosting events with international athletes as it navigates difficult questions over how it can stage next year's virus-postponed Olympics.

Questions arose over a gymnastics event featuring China, Russia, the US and Japan when the International Gymnastics Federation said Kohei Uchimura, the two-time men's all-around Olympic champion, had tested positive.

But the test was later revealed to be a false positive, with Uchimura testing negative and now scheduled to take part in the competition this weekend in Tokyo.

Officials are also trialling a series of sports events with capacity crowds with an eye on next year's Games.

On Friday, thousands of fans flooded into a baseball stadium near Tokyo that will host Olympic events next year as a test for coronavirus prevention measures.

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