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Saurabh Duggal, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 12, 2012
Indian presence in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) could well be a thing of the past, if the recent developments are an indication. The Indian franchise, Indian Fighters, are likely to skip the 2012-13 season commencing November 17, partly because of the poor response and the absence of crowd-pulling boxers. Though the Fighters figure in the WSB Season-III schedule, and are pitted against Dynamo Moscow in the away tie on November 17, they have not started training yet.

All the boxers roped in by the franchise last season are clueless about their fate for the forthcoming season. Even their foreign coach, Joe Clough, is no longer on the franchises' payroll.

No communication
"We had only a season's contract with the franchise. We haven't received any communication from them this season," said an Olympian boxer, who appeared for the Mumbai Fighters (now Indian Fighters) last season.

"If the Indian franchise does not take part in this edition of the WSB, it will be a big jolt for the sport in the country," he added.

The franchise owners are in communication with the AIBA seeking clarification on the participation of big names, and only after getting an appropriate response will they clear the air.

"Our name still appears in the WSB Season-III schedule. By next week, the picture will be clear whether we will be there or skip the event," said a franchise official on condition of anonymity. Bhupinder Singh, a senior Indian Boxing Federation official, said, "We are looking into the matter. We will try to sort out the issue for the betterment of the sport."