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Indian boxing stars set to give WSB a miss

other Updated: Nov 03, 2011 23:35 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times
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Indian boxing star Vijender Singh and all four London Olympic Games quota holders --- L Devendro Singh, Jai Bhagwan, Manoj Kumar and Vikas Krishan --- will not be part of the Indian franchise, Mumbai Fighters, for the World Series of Boxing (WSB), the high profile league started last year by the International Boxing Association.

Mumbai Fighters are starting their camping with a home match against Italian franchise Milano Thunder.

"Right now, my focus is to get an Olympic quota, so I am only concentrating on next year's Asian continental Olympic qualifiers," said Vijender Singh.

Except for World Cup bronze-medallist, Akhil Kumar, no other Indian boxer from the 10-member squad that competed in last month's World Championship will be part of the WSB.

"There are only five weight categories in WSB, so some of the country's top boxers are giving it a slip because their weights don't fall in it. Moreover, some are concentrating on next year's Olympic qualifiers," said an Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) official.

"World Cup bronze-medallist Vikas Krishan and Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar are on rehabilitation," he added.

Many of the country's top boxers are contracted to Percept India and a deal between them and TransStadia Pvt Ltd, which owns the Mumbai Fighters, could not materialise, and this is another reason why some of the stars will not be seen in action in WSB.

The money being offered to the Indians is another reason why they are staying away from the league. Most of the Indian boxers are getting Rs 1 lakh per month.

"Earlier, I had plans to join the Mumbai Fighters. But with the London Games in mind, I decided to skip the league. I will join the national camp in Patiala next week," said Jai Bhagwan, who has earned the quota for the 2012 games.