Sports

UK COVID-19 Restrictions Force Ryan Charles’ Withdrawal From Turkey Boxing Tournament

Despite intense preparation and hopes for success, Saint Lucian heavyweight boxer, Ryan Charles, will no longer compete in the International Elite Men and Women Istanbul Bosphorous Boxing Tournament in Instanbul, Turkey, from March 15-21, 2021.

Charles, who is based in the United Kingdom, informed local boxing authorities on Thursday about the reasons that led to his decision to not participate in the tournament. According to him, should he and his coach Sabatino Leo leave the United Kingdom for the Turkey event, they would need self-quarantine in a Government hotel in England upon their return at a cost of £1,750 for 10 days.

“The rules on travel from the UK are forever changing and I was totally unaware of this rule as Turkey is not listed as a red zone country,” Charles said in an email. “Therefore, travel should have been fine. However, I have been informed by people in the boxing circle that Team GB and Team Ireland also had to withdraw from this competition due to the COVID-19 quarantine rule.”

Charles, who was due to leave the United Kingdom for Turkey on March 14, described the turn of events as “very frustrating” and apologised for any inconvenience caused. Nevertheless, he promised to forge ahead with training for upcoming opportunities. “I am still in the gym every day and training hard and I shall not let this distract me from the ultimate goal,” the pro boxer said.

The competition has been organized by the Turkish Boxing Federation for over 30 years, and this year’s event is in preparation for the previously suspended European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event which is to be continued on April 22.

Charles had previously received financial support from the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC) Inc. towards his participation in the upcoming event and is preparing for Tokyo Games qualifiers scheduled for early May in Argentina.

Charles, 34, nicknamed “Run Em Over”, was introduced to boxing at age 8. He has won gold medals
at the OECS Boxing Championship and Creole Boxing Championship level. He turned pro in 2018, and BoxRec.com lists him as having 7 wins (2 via KOs) and 1 loss.

The St. Lucia Boxing Association (SLBA) reiterates its gratitude to the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC) Inc. for supporting this venture and wishes Charles every success in the future.

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