Right now there is one global issue affecting every area of the planet, and certain countries have taken different approaches to dealing with it, in both general life and in sports. In Japan the sporting world has taken it very seriously, especially boxing which has had strict criteria applied on fighters, trainers, gyms and even fans. The idea has been to allow the sport to continue, allow fans to attend the sport, but also to control the situation and try to prevent issues from worsening.
With that in mind the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and the Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA) has put a number of rules in to effect to really limit the spread of the on going issue.
Sadly there has been a number of people who have broken the rules in some way or another. One man who is now feeling the cost of breaking the rules is Hitoshi Watanabe, the chairman of the Watanabe Gym.
Earlier today it was announced that the East Japan Boxing Association had fined Mr Watanabe ¥500,000 (JPY) for repeatedly breaking the rules on where he was sat at 3 different Rookie of the Year shows.
The shows, on September 6th, 24th and 25th, saw Mr Watanabe caught on film sitting in seats prohibited under the current rules and being hit with the hefty fine as a result.
Sadly for Mr Watanabe this isn't the only time he's been in trouble with the Japanese boxing authorities recently, with the JBC telling him off after one of his fighters broke the rules on September 24th. The fighter in question was Leon Yamaguchi (3-2, 2) [山口怜恩], who, instead of going to his hotel to isolate after the weighing on September 24th, for his bout the following day, went to a restaurant.
Given the size of the penalty we suspect that others will keep to the rules, and that Mr Watanabe has been made an example of, at least somewhat, here.
Earlier today the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC) and the Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA) held their latest liaison council in regards to the current on going situations and came with some relatively notable changes.
Before we discuss the changes it is worth noting that at the meeting today it was revealed that Jorge Linares (47-5, 29) has been released from hospital, after his positive PCR test on August 6th. From what we under-stand he was there as precaution and on the basis of quarantine, as the fighter himself was reportedly asymptomatic.
The main change in regards to the rules is that fighters will be allowed to train at a different gym to their own, only if they have a match schedule and complete a number of forms and tests.
Since the cases in Osaka back in July the request had been made for fighters to only train at their own gym. This limits things like sparring to fighters within a specific gym. For example if you needed a tall southpaw to spar with and your gym didn't have one, tough luck.
Another change is that steeper punishments will be given where a fighter breathes rules in regards to leaving hotels and violating other restrictions. This can now include include bouts being cancelled, even if a fighter doesn't have a positive test.
From September 21st the plan is to add another layer into the testing procedure, with a test being given the day before bouts.
Arguably, at least for fans, the biggest news is that the Sports Agency have began to ease the restrictions on international fighters and trainers into Japan. This should open the door to international bouts returning to Japanese soil in the near future. This could mean a new date will be announced shortly for the multi-time postponed WBO Flyweight title bout between Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] and Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20).
Earlier today the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and Japan Profession Boxing Association (JPBA) mat in another of their regular meeting to discuss getting boxing back up and running in Japan. The meetings, which have been a key driving force behind bringing the sport back in the on going global situation, have been great indicators of how well planning for the sport has been and today they took another step forward.
The plan now is to not just have an anti-body test available, but for PCR testing to be introduced in the near future, likely in time for them to be done for the July 25th card in Kobe.
The latest news is that chief seconds will also be given tests and that media at events will be very limited, with no photographers on the ring apron.
Another big change is the fact that boxing will be actively promoting the use of contact apps, to help limit the spread, and bring in anti-gen testing.
Whilst it appears that some countries has rushed sports back, credit needs to be given to the openness of these meetings. It has kept fans and media in Japan in the loop, had a clear target and been fairly transparent. It would now be good for other countries to follow something similar.
Boxing in Japan is big business, maybe not as big as it once was but still big, and the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and Japan Profession Boxing Association (JPBA) have been having regular meetings to get the sport back up and in running in the country following the on going global situation.
Today they held their latest meeting and it appears that the full guidelines have now been agreed upon ahead of the first show back, which will take place on July 12th in Kariya, with no fans present. The hope is to then stage an event in Tokyo on July 16th, Okinawa on June 19th, back to Tokyo for June 22nd with the first Kobe show pencilled in for July 25th and a card in Kariya on the 26th.
The hope is to have limited fans at the Okinawa card, on the 25th and the second Kariya card, on the 26th, with the other shows to be fan-less. They are planning to have fans allowed in for shows on a regular basis, albeit in limited numbers from August.
Among the new guidelines now state that a fighter must take an antigen test 3 weeks before a fight and on the day before the fight, as well as staying in a bubble-like environment at a hotel after the weighing. There will also be new controls at weigh ins to keep fighters apart and even rules regarding training have been put into the guidelines.
There had been talk of having an on-site ambulance at all events, but that has now been removed from the guidelines
The full guidelines were sent to the Sports Agency who will check them and then are expected to pass the them and give the green light to boxing's return in July
The latest coronavirus countermeasures liaison meeting between the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and the Japan Boxing Association (JPBA) saw the latest steps being taken towards the restart of boxing in Japan.
It's now been stated that fighters will be quarantined in a hotel from the day of the weigh in to the fight, and that all visitors, meals, and transportation will be strictly controlled. Along with the fighters the referees will also need to under-go antibody tests weeks before they are set to be in action, and twice the day before a bout.
The tests will begin on June 20th, for the Central Japan Rookie of the Year show on July 12th, the first show back for Japanese boxing.
The expectation is that fighters involved in world title bouts will have more strict controls put on their movements and that they may end up needing to be quarantined for a week ahead of a world title fight. It is however assumed that the 4 world title bodies will have set their own guidelines, and the JBC and JPBA won't need to set the bar for the world level fighters, like they have for domestic level fighters.
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