Local shows unlikely until a vaccine found

THE entire domestic winter boxing is on the ropes and facing a technical knockout.

Head coach Ben Duff (right) with young Niall Adams on the ‘pads’ which is currently not permitted in the UK clubs. (28764860)
Head coach Ben Duff (right) with young Niall Adams on the ‘pads’ which is currently not permitted in the UK clubs. (28764860)

Boxers remain in training, but the prospects of the bell going for round one have long been silenced and, with the worsening health situation in the UK, Guernsey’s top coach is

not at all hopeful.

Normally, the local fighters are served by several Guernsey Dinner Boxing Club charity shows, as well as Amalgamated Boxing Club organised open events at Beau Sejour.

The more experienced and talented boxers also get away to the UK and, sometimes, Jersey, for action.

But Ben Duff, the ABC head coach, said yesterday he did not think it would be feasible to stage a show until a coronavirus vaccine is found and that the amateur scene on the English mainland has been even more severely hit than Guernsey’s pugilists.

‘At the moment, amateur gyms in the UK are only allowed six people in at a time and have to adhere to two-metre distancing. They are also not allowed to do any pad work or sparring.

Professional boxers are allowed to box and spar etc, because it’s their living, but amateurs can’t,’ he added.

All Guernsey shows rely wholly on outside opposition.

‘We are training, but wouldn’t be able to have a [purely] local show,’ said Duff.

‘The NGB (England Boxing) has said no shows are allowed until November, but we expect this to be extended.

‘If we were allowed, the other problem we have is that we need an OIC (officer in charge) for a show to go ahead. We don’t have a local OIC, and have to bring them over from the UK.’

Like the fighters, that individual would have to isolate first, which makes it impractical.

‘I doubt we will be able to have a show until this rule relaxes,’ said Duff, who summed up the sorry scene by saying: ‘I can’t see us been able to have a show until a vaccine is available, to be honest.’

A side-issue to the Covid-delays may well be as to having an effect on 2022 Commonwealth Games qualification, but Duff said it was too early to tell.

‘It’s quite difficult to second guess. Most of the other Commonwealth nations are in the same situation and unable to currently train properly or compete. Everyone’s in the same boat at the moment.

‘It will be a case of seeing how things develop over coming months before having a clearer picture of the impact.’

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