The Americas boxing qualifier is the latest boxing event to be canceled because of COVID-19 ©Getty Images

The Americas boxing qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been cancelled due to concerns coronavirus-related travel restrictions would stop some athletes reaching Buenos Aires to take part.

Argentina's capital was due to host the qualification tournament from May 10 to 16.

Tighter restrictions put in place in areas across the Americas in response to rising coronavirus cases and new variants have made hosting the competition too much of a logistical challenge, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Task Force (BTF).

Qualification for the Games will now be decided via BTF rankings, with the last-chance world qualifier already cancelled.

"In recent weeks, tighter travel restrictions and lockdowns have been implemented across the region, which have significantly disrupted international travel and pose logistical challenges to teams travelling to and from Buenos Aires, jeopardising their ability to participate in the event," said the BTF.

"Given the nature of the event as an Olympic qualifier which will award a large number of direct quota places for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, ensuring fair access and a safe environment for all athletes and officials is of the greatest importance.

"Unfortunately, the current situation in the region does not provide the assurances needed for these principles to be followed at the event scheduled in Buenos Aires.

"For this reason, after a thorough assessment and consultations with teams, the BTF’s athlete ambassadors and boxing experts plus the Organising Committee, the BTF has decided to cancel the event and restructure the Tokyo 2020 qualification pathway for the Americas region."

Buenos Aires was due to host the tournament next month ©Getty Images
Buenos Aires was due to host the tournament next month ©Getty Images

A total of 49 direct quota places were set to be determined in Buenos Aires.

Only those boxers who had been registered for the qualifier will be eligible for the 49 spots, with 33 of these for men and 16 for women.

These places will be allocated via BTF rankings in accordance with section D3 of the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for boxing, dated for March 2021, the BTF says.

The reallocation of an additional 13 quota places originally due to obtained at the global qualifier, which was cancelled in February, will be conducted after the allocation of the 49 quota spots.

Once approved by the IOC Executive Board, which is provisional scheduled for May 7, the change to the qualification format will be published.

A European boxing qualifier is still set to take place in Paris from June 4 to 8.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8.

The Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament is being organised by the BTF after the IOC suspended recognition of the International Boxing Association in May 2019 over long-standing governance, finance and ethics concerns.

Morinari Watanabe, an IOC member from Japan and President of the International Gymnastics Federation, chairs the BTF.