Promoter Camille Estephan of Eye of The Tiger Management (EOTTM) has been speaking to three of his boxers who are refusing to get vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus.
"We met the individuals in question and told them that a solution had to be found and that they had to be vaccinated. Unfortunately, we cannot force them. I am not in their head. Each person has their legitimate fears and it can be intense at times," said Estephan to Radio Canada Sports.
"But you have to look at the facts. If they want to advance in their career, if they want to travel, say to Las Vegas or in the big world centers [of boxing], they must be vaccinated."
While Estephan is not pointing any fingers at the boxers in question, Radio Canada and other Canadian outlets are naming former champion David Lemieux and heavyweight puncher Arslanbek Makhmudov as two of the fighters who refuse to get vaccinated.
Unless they get vaccinated, Estephan will have a real problem with booking them on cards in Canada and beyond.
"The three individuals realize that they have no other options. I saw an openness that I hadn't seen before. And I think they will do what is necessary. They are going to get vaccinated," Estephan said.
Estephan admits the situation is distressing for him and his company who have done so much for the careers of these boxers.
He admits to having lost a lot of money because of the expenses already incurred (posters, videos, advertising, etc.) in the promotion of the upcoming 10th anniversary card of EOTTM that he hoped to hold in Quebec on December 3.
"Let us not forget that several other boxers [who are fully vaccinated], who were to be part of this card, will not be able to box. It creates a certain disappointment, a frustration," Estephan added.