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Sponsor gives boxing a boost

other Updated: Feb 20, 2010 00:00 IST
Highlight Story

Confetti, music, a slinky hostess, swank lighting, tall blondes and XXX — a combination guaranteed to make any red-blooded Indian male go weak in the knees.

And no, in case you’re wondering, this wasn’t the launch of the latest Bollywood blockbuster, nor was it part of an endless parade of fashion weeks.

Though, you had to wonder: ‘Am I at the right event?’ especially when you spot singer Sophie Choudhury and former cricketer Ajay Jadeja. Yours truly then received a soft jab on the chin and something whispered, “duck.” In keeping with the spirit of the event, you cast a hook and a jab and step into the hall for what a boxing show.

The energy company XXX is an energy drink company that has ‘vowed’ to energise one of the world’s most fascinating sports.

After signing a four-year deal with a marketing management company on Thursday, this is the first major company roped in by the Indian Boxing Federation to sponsor the Commonwealth Championships from March 10-18. “We finally have something in place,” said PK Muralidharan Raja, the IBF secretary, on Friday.

“Though it is for the Commonwealth Championships, we know if we do well and get mileage from it, the sponsor will be happy to extend support.” He, however, did not want to reveal the details of the deal.

“That we will reveal at an appropriate time,” said Raja. Sachin Joshi, the vice chairman of GT and T Ltd, the company that owns the energy drink product, seconded Raja on Friday. “If everything goes well we might think of extending more help to the sport.”

Vijender, Akhil confident

Besides the glitz and the glam, the boxers were thinking of the sport. “After all it’s the sport that will have to do well,” said Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh. “Pehle to boxing mein free fight karte the. Abhi hopefully we will get money.

We will deliver the goods.” Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar was upbeat. “It’s heartening to see a sponsor in the sport,” he said. The boxers are geared up for the Championships. “With home support , we’ll do well,” said Akhil. “But we have not seen the venue as yet. I guess as a boxer we should know where we are playing. Besides the crowd, this is home advantage for us as well.”

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