IBF postpones annual convention to 2021

IBF representative in Africa Neville Hotz. / Supplied
IBF representative in Africa Neville Hotz. / Supplied

Well-travelled veteran boxing referee and judge Neville Hotz has welcomed the postponement of the IBF's annual convention due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was to take place in California, US, in May. Hotz, 67, is the New York-based sanctioning boxing body's representative in Africa.

Hotz said all IBF licensees were informed about the postponement by president Darryl Peoples.

Hotz, Deon Dwarte and Pumeza Zinakile had already booked flights to California. It was to be Hotz's 19th attendance at the gathering he described as an appropriate platform to network. "But life is more precious. We've got to save lives. We will get over this and start over again," said Hotz, who has been involved in boxing since 1997.

Peoples wrote: "All doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and first responders who figuratively step into the ring each day to battle the Covid-19 are champions now.

"We are extremely grateful to all [of them] who figuratively step into the ring each day to battle this virus.

"As we navigate the novel coronavirus globally, be assured that the health and well-being of all the members of the boxing community are our priorities.

"We have been closely monitoring the situation with Covid-19 and how it would impact our upcoming convention next month.

"At this time, we have decided to reschedule our 37th annual convention to May 4-8, 2021, at The Westin in Long Beach, California.

"We know that many made all the necessary arrangements to attend the convention and were looking forward to it, as we were.

"With the rapid spread of the pandemic globally we felt the best decision was to reschedule the convention."

Meanwhile, IBO president Edward Levine, whose Florida-based, US, boxing body is represented here by Kevin Lerena (cruiserweight), Gideon Buthelezi (junior bantamweight) and Nkosinathi Joyi (mini flyweight), announced that its offices in Florida have also been closed due to the pandemic.

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