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Abu Dhabi fight night postponed

Organisers fail to secure visas for African fighters

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The first professional boxing event to be held in Abu Dhabi has been postponed from Thursday until December 19 after organisers failed to secure UAE visas for travelling fighters.

Edward Mendy, of Lion Heart Boxing Promotions, had arranged for a full card of fights to be held at the 5,000-capacity du Forum on Yas Island. But he said on Tuesday: “We had no choice but to postpone the show as four African fighters on the card did not get visas.

“The UAE has one of the easiest visa application processes in the world. Typically, a visa takes two days unless complicated by the applicant’s CID investigation. Thus, we did not worry about the visas, did not apply for visas sufficiently early and were blindsided by Eid.”

British heavyweight Danny Williams, 40, who knocked out Mike Tyson in 2004, was due to headline the event.

“The visa issue cost us both main events,” Mendy added. “The opponent for Williams [Mazur Ali] is from Egypt and the opponent for Said Ouali

[Ebenezer Lamptey] is from Ghana. Additionally, we lost two other fights. Thus, we decided to reschedule rather than put on a sub-par show with only local fighters since we had major television with ESPN3, Abu Dhabi Sports and several other TV channels contracted to air the fights.”