Athletes train hard for the chance to have their moment in the lights, to win. Whether it’s lifting the World Cup or getting a knockout victory in the third round, athletes work for it, but at this moment all sports have hit pause.
At age 21, Buneet Bisla is building a light-heavyweight career full of monumental victories and moments of his own. But two unanimous-decision wins into his young professional boxing career, his third fight, scheduled for Saturday, March 21 at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, has been postponed due to COVID-19 virus concerns.
The Surrey fighter’s last fight was on Nov. 8 during a Thrilla at the Villa II event in Burnaby, where he beat Oscar “Devastating” Cortez.
Since that night last fall, Bisla has trained hard and stuck to a strict diet in order to earn a third victory, but he will have to wait to box again, following the postponement of the Hard Knocks at the Hard Rock event in Coquitlam.
“I’m pretty bummed out,” Bisla said. “We trained pretty hard for the last two months, focused on the diet and specific training for it. But I get it, the coronavirus sucks and it’s put a stop to all sports, not just boxing.”
From his start as an amateur boxer going 30-2, winning multiple titles, turning that into an undefeated amateur career in kickboxing and Muay Thai, there doesn’t seem to be much Bisla can’t do.
“I’d say my fighting style is explosive punch combos, and I’m very defensive,” he said. “I was born and raised in Surrey, training in taekwondo since I was 4.”
Following up amateur success can be hard for some fighters as the expectations can be difficult to live up to, but he has held his own with a successful two-bout winning streak as a professional boxer.
His boxing career will continue at some point, but for now he is continuing to train in the hope that things will sort themselves out sooner than later.
“I was so ready to fight after the three-month layoff,” Bisla said. “I was completely pumped to come back and kick 2020 off with a bang.”
“Now we just wait and see what happens with all of this.”
In a statement, Anna Farrant, CEO of Alliance Boxing Promotions, said the company is following guidance from the provincial government and is cancelling upcoming events.
“Sadly, in compliance with the recent press release from the provincial government, we have to cancel our event (at the Hard Rock),” Farrant said.
“All events over 250 people are to be canceled for the timebeing. We are sad for all the athletes that have been training hard over the last month. But we have to follow the lead of the health minister,” she said.
With no reschedule fight date set, Bisla is hoping that circumstances around COVID-19 clear up soon.
“I’m back in the gym, hopefully we can get back into a training camp soon,” Bisla said. “The promoter told us they’re going to hold tight until May and see where things are at, so hopefully it’s sooner than later.
“I’d love to get a fight because fall is just such a long time to wait, but we will respect what the health minister said.”
Added Farrant: “We are working with the casino to secure another date after the summer.”