World champion boxer threatens to retire due to introduction of Covid passports

World champion boxer Sunny Edwards has vowed to retire if Covid-19 vaccine passports are introduced in September.

Boris Johnson announced yesterday that Covid-19 passports will be required for nightclubs and venues with large crowds, which could signal a passport being required at sporting events such as boxing later on in the year.

And newly crowned British world champion Edwards has claimed he could hang up his gloves in protest.

"Looks like I’m retiring from the game in September." Edwards posted on Twitter in response to the announcement.

The announcement could signal an increase in the uptake of vaccinations across the UK, in particular amongst sports stars who could be required to take the vaccine in order to compete in the future unless they are given immunity from the policy that will be introduced.

Several boxing stars have been caught up with vaccine debates during the pandemic, including undisputed super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor who recently defeated Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas to claim the belts and remain undefeated.

He has also posted on Twitter against the idea of vaccine passports, slamming the rules as a 'dictatorship' which could signal his stance to any future rules that are introduced into boxing.

"Do as [sic] your told or be excluded from society! #Dictatorship " Taylor posted on his Twitter page today after the announcement.

He also responded to a fan who questioned his stance on the passport and whether his choice to do so was an example of freedom.

"The fact you’re being told to take something in order to live life, simply isn’t freedom! It's oppression." Taylor said.

The pandemic has had a damaging effect on boxing in recent weeks with Tyson Fury's outbreak in camp causing the third face-off in the ring against Deontay Wilder to be rescheduled for October 9.

Despite reports of the 'Gypsy King' testing positive himself for the virus, he was pictured greeting fans in Las Vegas amid rumours that he may soon be returning to the UK after the trilogy fight broke down.

The lineal heavyweight champion also refused his second vaccine ahead of the fight, after he relayed fears to his team of suffering with ill-effects ahead of his attempt to defeat Wilder for the second time in two years.

Teofimo Lopez is another boxer who has been forced to lose out on taking part in a title defence, as his fight with George Kambosos was postponed indefinitely due to a positive coronavirus case.

"By now you’ve heard the news that I have had to withdraw from the fight due to COVID. Being a champion means doing hard things. NO EXCEPTIONS. And I choose to keep my fellow athletes safe," Lopez released in his official statement.

"I am devastated to disappoint so many people. I know the sacrifices we have all made to get here. I believe I am doing the right thing. I don’t want to infect anybody. Sport has power. I choose to use my power to be a good example."

The boxing world turns it attention to the action this weekend, as Joe Joyce takes on Carlos Takam in the heavyweight division on Saturday.

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