Thursday, June 20, 2024

Akhil and co ready for World Series Boxing


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Mumbai: India’s lone boxing franchise Mumbai Fighters is ready with its line-up of Indian and international pugilists in a 17-strong squad for the USD five million World Series of Boxing commencing November 11 here.

Apart from Akhil Kumar, a 2006 Commonwealth Games gold winner, Jitender Kumar, a bronze medal winner in the Melbourne CWG as well as the 2008 AIBA World Cup, and three-time national champion Diwakar Prasad, the squad consists of ten other Indian boxers and four foreigners, it was announced here today.

Notable among other Indians who will parade their wares in the colours of the Mumbai Fighters are former World Cadet champion Balbir Singh (bantam) of Delhi and 2007 junior world champion Vipin Kumar (bantam).

The other Indian boxers in the squad, who will open their campaign at home in Pune’s Balewadi against Italian franchise Milano Thunder on November 11, are: Gaurav Bidhuri (bantam), Siddharth Varma (light), Mandeep Jangra, Vijay Hooda (middle), Jasveer Singh, Rahul Kumar (light heavy), Krishan Kumar and Sumit Rangi (heavy).

The four foreign recruits are: Patrick Gallagher (Ireland, middle), Marko Calic (Croatia, light heavy), Paul Koon (US) and Trent Rawlins (Australia), both heavyweight boxers.

The WSB is a competition in which boxers would fight without headguards and vests, with professional-style scoring, three judges and one referee and one supervisor.

A WSB match consists of five bouts, with each bout consisting of five rounds of three minutes each. The team with most wins from five bouts wins the match.

Akhil said that fighting without headgear was not an issue to him as he pointed out that injuries in football were more than in the ring sport.

Asked about the absence of star boxer and Beijing Olympics bronze winner Vijender Singh, Jay Kowli, joint secretary of the Indian Boxing Federation, said that there are only five categories in this championship and Vijender’s category fell in between two nominated weight divisions.

He further said that two other top Indian boxers — Vikas Krishan and Manoj Kumar – were interested in taking part but because of their other commitments they were not available this year. (PTI)


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