The Asian Boxing Championship, which was to be held in India in November-December, has been postponed to next year owing to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the national federation's Secretary General Jay Kowli told PTI on Tuesday.
The decision was taken at the Asian Boxing Confederation's (ASBC) Executive Committee meeting held online on Monday. "A postponement was proposed owing to the conditions prevailing because of the pandemic and it was accepted. India remains the host and the tournament will now happen in 2021," Kowli, who is a member of the ASBC EC, said.
"The 2021 window for it will be discussed in the next EC meeting in November," he added. India last hosted the men's Asian meet back in 1980 in Mumbai before conducting the women's event in 2003 in Hisar. The tournament became a combined event for men and women last year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown sporting calendars haywire the world over with several big events, including the Olympics and the T20 World Cup of cricket, postponed. "We have to be careful, the cases are on the rise everywhere. Unless it is definitive that there is a decline, it was thought best to put things on hold," Kowli said.
"The ASBC decided that there is a possibility of just one event, probably in November in China, where only the top boxers can compete to keep the field small. But that is also just a proposal, it may or may not happen," he added.
In India, the case load has surged past 25 lakh and the death toll has crossed 50,000.
However, there have been small steps towards sporting resumption beginning with the training camps. A handful of boxers have assembled for a camp in Patiala which has gone along smoothly till now.
So far, nine Indian boxers - five men and four women - have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.