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Tyson beckons but visa stalls

Six young Indian pugilists will get a chance to interact and battle it out in the ring under the watchful eyes of boxing legend Mike Tyson, the former undisputed world heavyweight champion, and young sensation Amir Khan of Britain.

other Updated: Dec 19, 2011 23:52 IST
Firoz Mirza

Six young Indian pugilists will get a chance to interact and battle it out in the ring under the watchful eyes of boxing legend Mike Tyson, the former undisputed world heavyweight champion, and young sensation Amir Khan of Britain.

However, their hopes of participating in the Benazir Bhutto International Boxing Championship at Islamabad on Dec 22 and meet their idols hang in a balance, as they have not got the visas yet.

The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) has picked promising boxers Madan Lal (52kg), Sandeep (60), Devanshu Agrawal (55), Narinder (81), Parminder (91) and Manjit (+91) for Pakistan's lone international-level boxing event, which started last year.

"I have spoken to the Pakistan Boxing Federation secretary about visa clearance," AIBF secretary-general, Muralidharan Raja, said. "We can confirm it only when we have their passports stamped with the visa."

An opportunity to interact with the legend of the game can do wonders to budding sportspersons.

No wonder then that the IABF is trying its best to send the boxers to Islamabad.

IABF executive director, AS Dagar, hoped the concerned Pakistan officials would make the arrangements "tomorrow or the day after" so that the Indian boxers could cross the border in time for the event.