By our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI, Nov 6: Boxing Federation of India president Ajay Singh was in the city on Monday to participate in the mascot, logo and theme song unveiling function of 2017 AIBA Youth Women’s World Boxing Championship. In an exclusive interview with The Sentinel Singh has revealed different BFI plans chalked out to boost boxing in India. Here is the excerpt—
It is the first occasion for the BFI to organize a world boxing meet. How is the preparation?
Singh: It’s going on nicely. Our boxers are doing well in intertiol competitions. With this tourment, we’re going to prove that as an organiser the trust that AIBA showed on us isn’t wrong. I hope it will be a memorable one for us as well as for boxers from abroad.
Any specific reason to select Guwahati as the venue for this prestigious meet?
Oh, Yeh! We received cooperation from the very first day from the Assam Government when we were planning to host the event in India. You can say that it is the reason to bring this event to Guwahati.
In the recent past boxing in India has shown considerable progress in tiol as well as intertiol ares. Any comment?
Singh: Yes. It’s true. Our boxers are really performing well in tiol as well as intertiol meets on a regular basis. We’ve good potential in this game, and we’re trying our best to give players proper infrastructure as well as good exposures for further growth.
Has BFI chalked out any special plan for future?
Singh: Definitely. We’ve already decided to set up ultra modern satellite boxing academies in different parts of the country. The main centre of the academy will be in New Delhi and rest of the academies will work under its supervision. Earlier we announced that the Northeast would get one of those boxing academies and we feel Guwahati is the right place for it. We’ve also planned to start a franchise-based boxing championship in the line of IPL and ISL to promote and popularize the game. If everything goes as per planned, it will be started in June next. Six to eight teams are going to take part in the competition.
Veteran boxers like Mary kom, Sarita Devi made good comeback in the intertiol meet. Do you feel it will encourage young women boxers to come to this game?
Singh: Yes. Many people thought that both of them have finished their carrier. But we know that some fire is still left in their punch. Mary and Sarita by ensuring medals in the Asian Boxing Championship proved that we were right.
Assam has great hope on its own boxer Shiva Thapa. Your comment?
Singh: The lad is a potential boxer. He has already played two Olympics. Although he returned empty-handed on both the occasions, you shouldn’t lose hurt. He’s a quality boxers and always tries to give hundred percent, whether it is practice or competition. I’m very much optimistic that the boxer will bring medal from Olympics, and the BFI will provide him all possible help for that.