Magomed Kurbanov and Patrick Teixeira are threatened with another postponement.
The ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war has prompted the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and IBO to take a tough stance regarding its sanctioning of upcoming fights. The five organizations have stopped approving any fights currently scheduled in Russia during the ongoing nationwide invasion of neighboring Ukraine, with the WBA and WBO taking the further step of not even recognizing Russia in its rankings in the future. predictable.
The upcoming junior middleweight clash between Kurbanov and Teixeira unfortunately ticks all the boxes, in addition to taking three months later than originally planned. The show is currently scheduled for March 26 at KRK Uralets in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and with the WBO International junior middleweight title on the line. The fight was scheduled to take place on December 11, only for Kurbanov to pull out due to a fever after the weigh-in and unable to continue.
Kurbanov-Teixeira is one of four fights on the card that previously carried the WBA or WBO sanction, including WBA secondary heavyweight roster Ryad Merhy (30-1, 25KOs) of Belgium and 2016 Russian Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Tishchenko (9-1, 6KOs) . The language used in the decisions of the sanctioning bodies would certainly endanger both fights, or at least the stakes.
“We will wait for the WBA’s final response before deciding,” German Titov, head of boxing promotions Titov/RCC told BoxingScene.com.
The sentiment carried by the veteran promoter is the same as that of almost everyone in the sport and the majority of the world at large – hope for peace and resolution in the near future.
This line of thinking is shared by visiting combatants who will eventually have a tough choice to make if the event goes ahead as planned and the ongoing war is not resolved at this point.
“We are still in training and hopefully everything will be resolved soon,” Teixeira manager Patrick Nascimento told BoxingScene.com.
To date, none of the fighters on the March 26 show have come out in favor of war – an action that will see themselves dropped from the WBA rankings according to their eight-point Pursuit of Peace mandate handed out on Monday. The sanctioning body will stop allowing unranked Russian boxers to enter the rankings, as well as denying its sanction of any fights in Russia or Belarus during this period of dispute. The organization also called on Russian fighters not to fly or display its national flag, refer to the country by name, or play its national anthem.
The decision is in line with similar sanctions imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which initially banned all Russian athletes from competing in the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics last summer. A loophole softened this position, but on the condition that said athletes enter under the banner of the ROC – Russian Olympic Committee, although this could not even be stated during the Games, as representation was limited to the acronym itself. .
Any decision on whether or not to cancel the show will likely come within the next ten days, as event managers will need to allow ample time for visiting fighters to travel to the country.
Yekaterinburg is more than 2,000 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, which Russian forces crossed on February 24 to officially launch its invasion. The illegal entry has received near-universal condemnation and international sanctions against Russia, along with massive protests around the world, including across Russia, where around 6,000 anti-war protesters were detained in the country on Monday. evening.
Kurbanov (22-0, 13KOs) hasn’t fought since a hard-fought 12-round win over England’s Liam Smith last May at the venue that was to host the March 26 show. Brazilian Teixeira (31-2, 22KO) is aiming to bounce back from his unanimous decision loss to Brian Castano on Feb. 13, which ended his WBO junior middleweight title reign.
Jake Donovan is Senior Writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox