World Boxing Association light flyweight super champion Hiroto Kyoguchi of Watanabe Boxing Gym and Hitoshi Watanabe, head of the gym, apologized in a press conference held online on Nov. 14 to challenger Thanongsak Simsri of Thailand and all the parties concerned for the sudden cancellation of the Nov. 3 title defense as Kyoguchi tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a PCR test the preceding day.
Besides Kyoguchi, his chief trainer also tested positive in a PCR test. The fight had been supposed to be held at INTEX Osaka, western Japan, with a limited number of spectators allowed in.
At the beginning of the Nov. 14 press conference, Watanabe pledged to maximize the management of the gym’s control to avoid the COVID-19.
Reflecting on his feeling when the PCR test result turned out to be positive, Kyoguchi said, ‘’I felt as if everything collapsed since I faced the worst scenario.’’
The 26-year-old Kyoguchi was isolated at a hotel between Nov. 2 and the Nov. 12 afternoon, during which time Kyoguchi reported his body temperature and health conditions in the morning on the Internet and called a healthcare center at 10 a.m. to discuss his health conditions. Box lunches were delivered to him three times a day.
‘’I felt depressed for about three days at the hotel and felt sorry for having caused so much trouble to various people. But I also received a lot of encouraging messages. Honestly, I want to live up to the expectations of my fans who are waiting for my fights.’’
Kyoguchi said he spent his time at the hotel doing 12 rounds of shadowboxing daily and various physical exercises. Although he had no symptoms, he always had apprehensions about (a possible) sudden production of symptoms.
Referring to his future, Kyoguchi said he wants to fight the 10th-ranked Thanongsak, who came all the way from Thailand despite the current situation of the COVID-19, was isolated for two weeks in Japan and cleared the light flyweight weight limit (on Nov. 2)
Watanabe said he wants to set a new date for the title bout with Thanongsak, who still remains in Japan (his stay visa remains effective throughout the year), by consulting with the Japan Boxing Commission and Japan Pro Boxing Association. But it is a delicate matter, according to boxing sources.
Watanabe gym in Tokyo, which has temporarily been closed, is expected to be reopened on Nov. 16, and Kyoguchi is also expected to be engaged in training at the gym.