‘Dis­ap­point­ment’ af­ter box­ing match post­poned

Cyprus Today - - SPORT - By KEREM HASAN and YASEMIN GÜLPINAR

THE TRNC Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion ex­pressed “dis­ap­point­ment” last night at the 11th-hour post­pone­ment of a box­ing tour­na­ment in Glas­gow, Scot­land, that would have seen the TRNC’s Sugar Ata­hasan make his in­ter­na­tional pro­fes­sional de­but to­day.

Bri­tish Irish Box­ing Au­thor­ity (Biba) TRNC chair­man Hasan Kara­calı told Cyprus To­day: “Sugar was go­ing to fly the TRNC flag for the first time in TRNC box­ing his­tory at a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment. He has been train­ing very hard and there was a build-up of ex­cite­ment and adren­a­line.

“Nat­u­rally, we are all dis­ap­pointed. We have been told that the de­fer­ral was be­cause a main fight boxer was in­jured.”

A so­cial me­dia post by Lee William Mcal­lis­ter said he was “ab­so­lutely gut­ted to an­nounce that the Scott Har­ri­son head­lined box­ing show in Glas­gow . . . has been put back to the start of next year . . . Gut­ted for all the fight­ers who have put in good camps and got them­selves in crack­ing shape to fight. Sorry to all the box­ing fans who were look­ing for­ward to the show and see­ing their lo­cal favourite fight­ers in ac­tion . . . will be resched­uled ASAP”.

Mr Ata­hasan, 35, grew up in Ed­mon­ton, north Lon­don, and re­cently be­came the first TRNC boxer to be signed to the sport’s pro­fes­sional body, Biba, and the TRNC-off shoot, Biba-TRNC. His op­po­nent at the Glas­gow Club venue was to be Belfast, North­ern Ire­land res­i­dent Chris Wong.

Sugar — whose real first name is Şükri — now lives in Hamitköy af­ter mov­ing to the TRNC two years ago.

Speak­ing to Cyprus To­day this week, he spoke of the tough train­ing regime he was un­der­tak­ing with coach Mehmet Paşa prior to the his­tory-mak­ing bout.

“We have both worked very hard to make this hap­pen and [to­day] the dream will come true,” he said.

Mr Ata­hasan said he was feel­ing “very con­fi­dent” ahead of the four­round light­weight bout and added: “Paşa has pre­pared me well and we are go­ing for noth­ing but a win.

“We want to make North Cyprus proud.”

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