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New format to put emphasis on endurance

To make boxing sport more thrilling, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has once again altered the time duration and number of rounds in a bout, reports Saurabh Duggal.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2008 23:31 IST
Saurabh Duggal

To make boxing sport more thrilling and presenting more action to the spectators, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has once again altered the time duration and number of rounds in a bout.

Starting next year, the total playing time of a bout will be increased by one minute and the total rest time will be reduced by one minute, thus not affecting the overall duration of a match, which is of 11 minutes. From January 1 next year, the bouts in senior men's competition shall consist of three rounds of three minutes each. But the rest time between rounds will remain one minute. As per the present rules, the bout consists of four rounds of two minutes each.

Earlier, till the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, there used to be three rounds of three minutes each. With the new ruling, more stress will be on endurance, as the boxers will have to be on their toes for a longer duration with overall lesser period for recovery. "The new system will definitely demand more endurance. Right now, our focus is on two minutes and after that we get a minute for recovery. But next year, we will have to change our focus to the new format," said chief national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu.

"About a decade back, we used to have the same format, so it wouldn't be very difficult for us to train our boxers in accordance with the new format. We'll start stressing on this aspect from the first national camp onwards. Earlier during practice, we used to workout keeping in mind the three-and-half-minute endurance set, but now we will increase it to four minutes," he said.

The boxers are also taking the new format as a challenge. "Now it's going to be more endurance and lot of power punches. And obviously the spectators will get to see more action," said boxer Vijender Singh. "We'll have to changes our training schedule a bit to adjust to the new format," he added. Defending national champion Dilbag Singh (69kg) said, "Right from the time I started boxing, I have been practicing according to the two-minute format. So, it will take some time to get used to the new system. It's now no more a question of choice, but compulsion."