Monday, July 12, 2010

Boxing: For boxers it's about choice

Indian boxers won't be representing their country after the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and the Asiad in Guangzhou, China. 

Reason: The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) is all set to turn semi-professional by involving major boxing nations in the much anticipated World Series of Boxing (WSB) that will not allow boxers registered with the league to participate in events such as the Asian Games, World Championships or the Commonwealth Games.
The competition, to be played between 12 city-based franchise teams across three continents, is the talk of the boxing fraternity. Indian pugilists such as Vijender Singh, Jeetinder Kumar, Akhil Kumar, Jai Bhagwan and Dinesh Kumar have already signed with the Videocon-sponsored Delhi squad.
The competition comes with big prize money too. The boxers will bag Rs 3 to 5 lakh per bout, but with the WSB's strict restrictions, they will only be able to play for their country in the Olympics.
"We know that we will not be able to take part in the Asian Games, World Championship or Commonwealth Games after this year unless the event is an Olympic qualifying event by the AIBA. Besides, we also have the incentive that a gold medal in the WSB will get us an Olympic berth," Vijender told Indian Express.
The modification in the ring also increases the risk of a boxer suffering a career-threatening injury. The WSB will have five 3-minute rounds, unlike three 3-minute bouts in a regular AIBA tournament. Also, the boxers will not be allowed to wear protective gears and enter the ring without head protection or vests.
"There is more risk in this format but I guess I am in a position to take such a risk," Vijender added.
However, Suronjoy Singh is not too excited with the WSB and felt it could hamper his Olympics preparations. "I was wary of a few WSB clauses. It depends on each boxer's mentality. I am focused on London Olympics in 2012," said the boxer, who won six gold medals last year.

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