The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has announced a late date change for the African Championships, which were initially scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 27, in the Republic of Congo’s capital Brazzaville.
The event has now been pushed back, with action set to take place between June 17 and 25. It is the sole African qualifying event for the 2017 World Championships in Hamburg.
An AIBA statement reads, “The decision was taken by the AFBC in order to ensure that the tournament meets the high standards demanded from such a prestigious competition, one of five direct qualification routes to this year’s AIBA World Championships in Hamburg.”
“All of the National Federations involved, the relevant stakeholders and partners have been informed, and AIBA has full confidence in the Local Organising Committee delivering a world-class international event in June,” it adds.
AIBA has claimed the events will provide an opportunity for a new generation of boxing talent to break through and establish themselves against more experienced names for the first time in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle.
The 19th edition of the men’s AIBA World Boxing Championships are set to be held at Sporthalle Hamburg from August 25 to September 3. The German city will host the top 280 elite male boxers.
Rwanda Boxing Federation (RABA) Spokesperson, Thomas Nkusi, confirmed that they received the communication regarding the change of dates. “The programme was rescheduled but the team will continue with preparations.”
The rescheduling is a blessing for Rwandan pugilists, who now believe it will give them more time for thorough preparations.
“To us it’s a blessing, I’m not saying we were not ready but this gives us more time to prepare,” said the 2014 All Africa Youth Games lightweight bronze medalist, Jean Pierre Cyiza.
Seven boxers in different categories, including one woman, are in training. They include; Olivier Niyigena (52kg) David Nsabimana (57kg), Alex Niyomurenyi (60kg), Jean Pierre Cyiza and Charles Muvunyi both (64kg), Vincent Nsengiyumva (81kg) and female boxer Rachel Iratuzi (62kgs).