Sport

Forces Boxers Will 'Keep Ticking Over' After COVID-19 Pandemic Postpones Inter Services

The Inter Services were due to take place later this week.

Army boxing coach James Allen says the forces boxers will "keep ticking over" after the coronavirus pandemic has put the rest of their season in doubt.

The UK Armed Forces Championships were set to take place in Aldershot on Thursday but the outbreak has seen the event postponed.

Allen says the delay is "gutting" and compared the break to the end of a season.

He said: “We’ve already started to set up...we’ve been peaking for this all season.

"Everything we do in the season is towards the UK Armed Forces Championships followed by the National Championships.

“The lads are gutted, the coaches are too. It’s disappointing.

“Obviously, at the moment, it is hard to see where this landscape is going. You’ve got to plan that the boxing will be up and running again soon so you have to tick over in the meantime.

“It’s almost like we’ve come to the end of the season."

The usually-full boxing ring at Aldershot is empty due to the pandemic.

Allen also spoke about Army boxer Karris Artingstall, who was close to qualifying for the Olympics before all events were postponed.

He said: “She looked nailed on to go to the Olympics and not just qualify, but go on for a medal. She must be bitterly disappointed but her time will come.”

Chez Nihell is another military boxer to have been impacted by the cancellations.

His professional career is getting stronger and stronger but his journey to the top has been delayed by COVID-19.

He said: "Pro boxing is all about putting bums on seats...at the moment, no-one is going to be going out.

“I personally feel the frustration but I know loads of professional boxers, who up until two days ago, were putting out news that they were fighting.

“For some of them, that’s their job. That’s how they earn their money.

“They earn money when they fight and then they have sponsorship deals and things like that - with a pandemic like this, sponsorship deals could be pulling out.

“I can look after my base fitness within my job in the Army, that’s what I’ll be doing and we’ll see what happens.”