As we're sure many will be aware there is currently a health issue in Wuhan, China, with the Wuhan Coronavirus being a major medical issue. The infection has killed several already and infected hundreds, with numbers expected to rise over the coming weeks.
Today the IOC have stated that the scheduled Asia & Oceania Olympic Qualifying event, which was set to take place in Wuhan in February has been cancelled, due to the outbreak.
At the moment we've not been told what the plan is going to be going forward, whether it'll be rearranged in regards to date, venue or date and venue, though it seems like the IOC took the right decision rather than risk the athletes, their families and teams.
Originally the qualifying event was set to run from February 3rd to February 14th, and given that that start date is just 2 weeks away the window to react from the IOC was small. So we really can't fault them, even if the contingency hasn't yet been made clear to the fighters who were preparing for the event/
Yesterday news broke that unbeaten Kazakh prospect Batyrzhan Jukembayev (17-0-0-2, 14) [Батыржан Джукембаев] would be facing a change of opponent this coming Saturday, after planned Argentinian foe Maximiliano Ricardo Veron (12-3-1, 4) was unable to secure a visa for the bout.
At the time it was unclear who the Kazakh would face as a result, though his new opponent has now been named.
According to Vesti the replacement opponent for Veron has been named as 27 year old Mexican fighter Ricardo Lara (22-7, 10).
Whilst it's frustrating news for Jukembayev, who has been training for one fighter before ending up with a different opponent on less than a weeks notice, it's actually not a bad match up given the short notice period.
Lara will be fighting in Canada for the third time, having previously lost to Mathieu Germain in 2017 and Tony Luis last year. He is a natural Lightweight, rather than a Light Welterweight, though has shown an ability to fight at 130lbs, 135lbs or at 140lbs if needed, as is the case here.
Despite the chance in opponent the bout is still expected to be fought for Jukembayev's two minor titles, and should be a decent work out for the Kazkh, even if he should win without too many questions being asked of him.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!