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Newark's Carl Greaves reacts to January boxing suspension as David Avanesyan and Josh Kelly await new date

A disheartened Carl Greaves fears Russian-born champion David Avanesyan will have to wait even longer to get a shot at the world title after UK boxing shows were suspended again.

Avanesyan, 32 returned to Newark in the lead up to Christmas for a gruelling six-week camp with trainer Greaves, ahead of his European title defence against Josh Kelly at the end of January.

Carl Greaves with his fighter, David Avanesyan. (43690782)
Carl Greaves with his fighter, David Avanesyan. (43690782)

However, the duo were hit by a huge blow after the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) suspended all boxing in January because of spiralling covid-19 cases.

The BBBofC, which oversees professional boxing in Britain, issued a statement on Sunday to explain its decision.

It read: “Following the increase in covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom and the effects such increases have on the NHS and the work of the board medical officers, it has been decided that no tournaments under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control will take place in January 2021.

“A further review by the board’s medical panel and stewards will take place later in January in relation to tournaments from February onwards.”

Promoters Matchroom Boxing confirmed the fight was postponed soon after, and said a new date would be announced as soon as possible.

Greaves, however, believed a further suspension would follow and cause further implications and put the fight in jeopardy.

He said: “I have a feeling the suspension will happen again in February.

“Matchroom are looking at moving the fight abroad, to a country with less cases, where it can still go on.

“Luke Campbell fought in front of 6,000 (in Dallas, USA, against Ryan Garcia) so there are options.

“But right now, we will continue to train as normal and then we will see where we stand then at the end of the week.

“If it is postponed any longer than what we have in mind, then it would be a case of David going back home to Russia to re-charge the batteries.”

The welterweight title fight, which was due to be aired live on Sky Sports on January 30, was the biggest fight affected by the suspension.

It is also the second time the fight has been postponed due to covid, and the third time overall after Kelly dropped out after the weigh-in in 2018.

“We have had Kelly pull out on the day, covid stopping us back in March of last year, and now covid again,” said Greaves.

“I am devastated for David, and he is gutted to be honest with you.

“He has come over from Russia, left his family at home for Christmas and the new year, he has paid out a lot of money on the camp, and now has seen it postponed — again.

“But these are very sad times for everybody with what's happening in the world. We are just hoping to hear something soon because this fight is massive and we have ambitions beyond it.”

The fight is rumoured to be taken overseas ahead of a February date.

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