PH fighters agree on ONE’s safety-first stance
Safety remains of paramount concern for ONE Championship as countries around the world begin to reopen after months of stay-at-home measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are not in a rush to come back just for the sake of coming back due to our financial commitments to broadcasters and brands and whatnot,” founder and president Chatri Sityodtong said in a statement Friday.
“We want to come back in an environment where we are sure that we can do it safely for all parties involved,” he added.
ONE’s last event was “King of the Jungle” card on Feb. 28, held behind closed doors at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The promotion was supposed to return to live showcase at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City for the “Infinity 2” card top-billed by Filipino-American heavyweight champion Brandon Vera.
ONE decided to modify its March and April events but went on to postpone them as COVID-19 cases in the Southeast Asian region began to swell.
Sityodtong did not provide a timeline for a return in his statement. The promotion’s website, however, indicates two events scheduled this month in China.
“I think the approach is good since even we here at home are still adjusting to the effects of the pandemic,” fighter Eduard Folayang told the Inquirer.
“It’s best to still assess the policies of involved [countries],” the former lightweight champion added.
Lito Adiwang, one of the fast-rising new faces of the promotion also rallied behind the promotion’s move to take all the time in plotting its return.
“I commend Chatri for putting the safety of everyone first,” he said.
“While I want to get back to action [right away], I’m taking advantage of the extra time to get better,” added Adiwang, a top contender in the strawweight class.
“No rush indeed, as we need to ensure it’s 100 percent safe to hold events,” said Kevin Belingon, one of Team Lakay’s skippers, and also a former bantamweight titleholder.
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