NEW YORK: A prominent US boxing trainer was in the hospital Friday night with head injuries after being viciously assaulted at a weigh-in in Flint, Michigan.
James Ali Bashir was punched from behind and knocked unconscious during the weigh-in at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center, US media reported.
The TMZ.com website said Michigan police have a suspect in custody but they did not provide any details.
Bashir was seen arguing with an unidentified person earlier in the weigh-in.
Bashir was at the weigh-in with his Croatian boxer Ivana Habazin who was scheduled to fight American Claressa Shields in a female contest on the Saturday night card.
The World Boxing Council said Friday night that the Habazin-Shields fight has been cancelled and that law enforcement officials were investigating.
“The WBC strongly condemns any act of violence in any event related to our sport, and specially the horrible attack which took place in an official activity surrounding this event,” the WBC said in a statement released on Twitter.
“The WBC will monitor the investigation and resolution of the case, and will then determine if an actionable WBC violation of any WBC Rule, Regulation or Code of Ethics took place.”
Bashir is well known in the boxing world, having trained under trainer Emanuel Steward for close to two decades.
The New Jersey native has worked with boxers like former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, Monte Barrett, Shannon Briggs and Jameel McCline.
It was not clear if the bout between Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) and Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs) would be rescheduled at a later date.
The rest of Saturday’s fight card is expected to go ahead as planned.