“They didn’t say an ‘a’ to me from the moment I got there until the moment I left. Sports.
Soares traveled with his coach Ulysses Pereira and Mike Miranda Júnior, representative of the National Boxing Council. Only Ulysses was able to get through immigration after presenting a United States visa, according to Miranda. Soares and Miranda were taken to a room and, two hours later, taken to a place where the boxer defines it as “a cell like those in prisons”.
“We passed inside the airport and arrived in a small room. They ordered the sneakers to be removed. The guy was very ignorant, treating him like he was a bandit, like I was carrying drugs or something. They turned my handbag over. the bag I checked in, I only managed to get it in Brazil, and it was all overturned “.
Soares says that at no time was it explained why he was not allowed to enter Mexico. “They didn’t ask us for anything, not a covid exam or anything. It has nothing to do with the pandemic, because they didn’t say anything to me.”
Detained with Soares, Mike Miranda said he heard at the airport that some flights until a certain time were being stopped in Mexico City because of the pandemic. “It was something random: four or five people were barred and the rest passed,” he explains.
The pandemic made Paulinho Soares even more afraid during the period he was detained at the airport. He says he stayed with 20 other people in a small, stuffy cell. “I couldn’t even sleep. The guy locked the door and it was absurdly hot. I was scared all the time, I never took off my mask, but we know that the mask alone is not enough. I didn’t even have the alcohol thing in gel there. It was terrible “.
“The room had no window. It only had a fan, but it was facing the people who were already there, it didn’t stay for us”, completes Miranda.
The Government of Mexico released a document last weekend updating the number of deaths by covid-19 and stating that the country may have crossed the 322,000 mark. The change represented an increase of 60% of what had been previously disclosed.
According to Mike Miranda, the promoter of the event in which Soares would fight tried to rescue the Brazilians at the airport, but were unsuccessful. “I had the right to a call and I told the CNB people and asked to notify the promoter of the event. They tried to resolve it, but nobody found where we were. There is no record or anything like that about who is being detained. The immigration people really , who was with the prosecutor, tried to locate us, but failed “.
O Sports tried to contact Mexico City’s international airport by phone and email, but got no response.
Brazilian lost his belt even without a fight
The impasse caused Paulinho Soares to be placed on a plane back to Brazil on March 29. He arrived in the country the next day. As his fight against Mexican Alan Solis was scheduled for April 1, he was replaced by Mexican Jonathan Aguilar. With that, the Latin featherweight belt was considered vague, and the Brazilian stopped being champion.
“I heard that they took my belt only here in Brazil. Mike arrived and went straight to a meeting where they determined that the fight had to happen. As I couldn’t make it, the title was vacant,” he explained.
According to Mike Miranda, the belt was vacated by the fact that Paulinho Soares had not fought in two years, the result of an injury and the pause due to the pandemic. “If he had defended three or four months ago, the belt would be retained. Now, he is the mandatory challenger for anyone who wins the fight in Mexico. The problem is knowing where this fight would take place because of the pandemic,” he explained.
With a cartel of 11 victories and one defeat, Paulinho Soares now tries to leave behind what happened to continue his career at 33 years old. “I went through very exhausting things there. It was a very bad thing, which I know will stay in my head for the rest of my life.”
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