With A view to sustaining and strengthening the new-found interest in boxing post Beijing, the Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) is leaving no stone unturned. From organising lavish welcome functions for the boxers to announcing a new competitive league, the IBF is now punching to add a dash of glamour to the sport of valour.
The sports body is planning to lure cine star Sanjay Dutt into the boxing ring as their brand ambassador, hoping to to cash on his presence to make the sport more popular.The cine star would be the guest of honour on the closing of the senior national boxing championship, and the IBF would officially designate him as their brand ambassador on the same day.
"Our boxers, especially Akhil, are pretty impressed with the cine star. So we thought why not to make him the brand ambassador. Moreover, he himself looks like a heavyweight boxer, so he suits the sport well," said IBF president Abhey Singh Chautala.
The boxers, too, looked happy with 'Munna Bhai' coming into the ring. "He has a great charisma and his presence will surely help boxing gain popularity in the country," said Jitender, adding that that it's the best time to market the sport.
Meanwhile, the boxers are finding it hard to cope with the name and fame they are being accorded post Beijing. Vijender and Jitender have been invited to the nationals as guest of honour and they are relishing the honour. "It feels great to be invited to nationals as guest of honour. It gave me great pride to share the dias with out top officials," said Vijender.
Jitender, on the other hand, was delighted when some of the participants took his autograph and clicked his picture. "I was left completely surprised," he said.