Boxing Against COVID
The small nation of Malta once again became the focal point of world boxing on Friday 2nd October. It was the third time since the summer that Maltese fans had been treated to a live spectated event.
At a time when most other countries are cancelling their shows or holding them behind closed doors due to COVID-19, last Friday’s event underlines the fact that having fans in attendance is possible if the right safety measures are taken.
Headlining the Prize Boxing Promotions event, and also acting as co-promoter, was Christian ‘Coqqos’ Schembri who won a unanimous points decision against durable Angel Emilov.
After the win he commented: “Fighting in this event was stressful to say the least, as the promotional side of things were a nightmare due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, with hard work and determination we put on a great show and myself and the other fighters got an opportunity to fight when most of boxing in other countries is at a standstill.
“I am thrilled with the victory and my performance against an experienced opponent who had the potential to cause an upset. I was able to use what me and Steve Martin [Schembri’s trainer] practiced in countless rounds on the pads and in sparring. I feel I am still improving and my best is yet to come. Can’t wait to step it up again in 2021.”
It was Schembri’s first bout since beating rival Scott Dixon in a trilogy fight in July.
Also on the card was rising star and WBC Mediterranean Champion Haithem Laamouz. Laamouz won by first round knockout making short work of opponent Slaveya Stefanov.
Having not fought since winning the WBC belt last year, Laamouz was clearly delighted with the result: “It feels good to be back and brush off the rust; I had over my 18 month lay-off due to an injury. This fight was to test my arm, reflexes, and move about. All went well, and now it’s time to take on stronger challenges.” He now moves to 16-1 in his professional career.
Already a boxing hot-bed, Malta’s ability to stage spectated events when other nations can’t, means that even more eyes will be upon this Mediterranean country in the coming months.
Full fight card results:
Christian Schembri UD 8 Angel Emilov
Haithem Laamouz KO 1 Slaveya Stefanov
Niclas Elfstedt KO 3 Reyhan Todorov
Clarence Goyeram KO 2 Yaroslav Dimitrov
Romain Amengual KO 2 David Dobrev
Sisqo Yussif SD 4 Darren Scerri