India will organise its first ever franchise-based boxing league this year, Boxing Federation of India (BFI) president Ajay Singh announced on Wednesday.
Talking to the media at the closure ceremony of the 2017 AIBA (International Boxing Association) commissions meeting, Singh said: “We will be starting our own boxing league later this year and it will be a great opportunity for our boxers with respect to finances and exposure.”
The BFI chief also said India is planning to host one major tournament every year in run-up to 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The first such event will be the Women’s Youth World Championships, which will take place in November 2017.
“The Women’s Youth World Championships will be a great opportunity for the Indian
boxers as they will be able to compete in such a huge event and it will also help in our preparations for Tokyo 2020,” he said.
“This is just the beginning of our plans as we wish to host one major event every year and our boxers will also be taking part in the 2017 World Series Boxing competition.”
This was the first time that the AIBA commissions meeting was held in India and the chairpersons from 11 commissions of AIBA attended the event to discuss the future of world boxing.
The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) was banned by AIBA for “possible manipulation” of elections in 2012. But, after four years, the administrative turmoil was finally ended by Ajay Singh’s appointment as the new president of the governing body.
AIBA President Dr. Wu Ching Kao, who was also present at the press conference, said that the situation in India has normalized since BFI’s formation and India has the potential to become a superpower in the world of boxing.
“What happened with the associations was quite unfortunate. But, it is all behind us now and I believe that India is capable of producing boxers who can do well on the international stage”, Dr. Wu said.