Lethal punches. Hot champs. And now hot properties.
If Vijender emerged the poster boy of Indian boxing after the Beijing Olympics, it could be the turn of Devendro Singh, Vikas Krishan and Suranjoy Singh to make an impact on the professional stage when AIBA launches its venture, the AIBA Professional Boxing (APB), next year.
Devendro or Vikas might not have finished on the podium in the London Olympics, where India did not win a medal, but their exploits did not escape the hawk-eyed AIBA (international boxing association) scouts.
The duo, along with Suranjoy, has been offered contracts which entails a signing amount of R15 lakh each, a minimum guaranteed appearance money of R2.5 lakh each for four bouts, incentives for winning bouts, and much more. This windfall translates into an assured sum of R25 lakh per boxer every season.
Elite group In its first list, the AIBA has given contracts to the world's top-10 ranked boxers in each of the weight categories. While Devend-ro is currently ranked fifth, Vikas is sixth after his Olympic exploits. The world governing body made an exception for Suranjoy, who missed the London berth, considering his exceptional talent and aggressive style.
“Since Vijender’s Beijing showing, the world’s outlook towards Indian boxing has changed. The AIBA wants our boys to participate at every level,” said Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) chairman Abhey Chautala.
Devendro grabbed attention when he stopped the Beijing Olympics silver medallist from Mongolia, Purevdorj Serdamba, in two minutes. The performance was enough for the world body to hand him a contract.
World championships bronze-medallist, Vikas, made an early exit in London but the controversial decision against him made him an overnight hero back home.
“In this very competitive event, the world's top-ranked boxers will challenge each other and eve-ntually the champion will emer-ge,” said Chautala.
“While Vikas was offered the contract during the London Games, we received a communiqué regarding Deven-dro and Suranjoy recently. We have written to their employers to relieve them for the APB.”
“The APB will bring fame and money and improve our lot. It will also improve our boxing and trai-ning standards. Performing in a professional event like this will make the amateur format also very competitive," said Suranjoy.
“I have already started training for it. If I get an opportunity, I would also like to try my hand in the World Series of Boxing.”