GIEMEL Magramo’s bid for a first-ever world title has been moved anew to a later date as boxing has yet to restart in Japan.
The 25-year-old Magramo’s duel against Junto Nakatani for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight championship is now set on August 21 at the famed Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
The fight has already been postponed thrice as cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to increase worldwide.
Prior to its latest rescheduling, the bout was supposed to take place on July 4.
The delay meant another long wait for the Filipino challenger, who has been training for the fight as early as February as the title match originally had an April 4 date.
Magramo (24-1, 20 KOs) is bidding to become the first Filipino to win a world championship during the pandemic.
Nakatani meanwhile, carries a perfect record of 20-0 (15 KOs).
The Magramo camp is likewise awaiting word from the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) since contact sports is still not allowed by the government under the general community quarantine, according to Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra.
The GAB chief said boxing was among the focus sports included in a 50-plus framework he submitted to the IATF Technical Working Group regarding the restart of pro sports in the country.
“With the current resumption of boxing and contact sports activities in other countries, foreign promoters, particularly those involved in world championship bouts, are already starting to negotiate fights with our local manager, boxers, and fighters,” said Mitra in a statement.
“We know that championship bouts provide not only a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our boxers, but also bring honor and pride to the country.”
As early as two weeks ago, boxing fights have already resumed in the U.S. and Mexico, with Filipino Mike Plania among the first to see action at this time of the pandemic. The General Santos City native pulled off a stunning majority decision against No. 1 ranked bantamweight Joshua Greer in Las Vegas last June 16.