Nearly a year after the WBC introduced the bridgerweight category, a category that was eventually not accepted by any of the remaining elite promotions, the first champion of the same should be crowned. A match between Oscar Rivas and Bryant Jennings has been arranged for October 22 in Quebec, Canada.
But the two of them won’t be in the ring there, as Jennings canceled the match. The American, who we remember as a former challenger for three heavyweight titles, while they were owned by Vladimir Klitschko, refuses to meet one of the two conditions required to perform in the largest Canadian region.
It is a vaccination against COVID-19, ie for a work permit and residence in Canada he needs a COVID certificate. “Jennings’ team informed us this week that Bryant refused to be vaccinated, as well as rejecting Canadian rules for unvaccinated travelers entering the state, even though it was already clear at the time of signing the contract, ”Rivas promoter Yvon Michel wrote on Twitter.
As for Jennings, he has his side of the story. He said unethical terms were not something he agreed with, and then added a longer entry on Twitter. "Me getting the vaccine was never in the plans never in the contract!
The contract stated at whatever time I'll agree to the Quebec public health requirements. But you just can't up and make requirements as such and think that this is still gonna happen.," Jennings wrote
Another option would be a 14-day quarantine, but even that is not acceptable to Jennings, so in the end he canceled the match and a great opportunity to become world champion.
"14 days without a coach, without a gym, without running and without the last week of sparring. No sun and no choice of food, with the proviso that I would not be out of quarantine until October 21, which is a weighing day."
"How can this make sense for a world-class boxer who will fight 12 rounds? ”is his comment. Jennings and Rivas were already fighting in 2019 as heavyweights, and the Colombian with the Canadian address was then celebrating with a stoppage in the final round.
Rivas returned in March this year, more than a year and a half after the first defeat in his career, inflicted on him by Dillian Whyte. Jennings has not fought since the summer of 2019, when he was defeated by Joe Joyce.
This was probably his last chance for the title, but because of his views he will miss it. And that is absolutely his right. The boxing media mentions information that a replacement opponent has already been found. That should be Jerry Forest.