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More foreign coaches needed for Indian boxing to excel, says top boxing referee

Engineer is a three-star AIBA recognised referee and has been associated with the game of boxing for three decades

pune Updated: Nov 05, 2018 16:06 IST
Pranav Shahaney
Pranav Shahaney
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Indian boxing,international tournaments
Farhad Engineer, referee during the National Boxing Championship in Pune, India, on Wednesday.(Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

Farhad Engineer, a three-star AIBA (international boxing association or, originally, the association internationale de boxe amateur) recognised referee, has been associated with the game of boxing for three decades. Having officiated in 28 international tournaments, Engineer’s well versed with international boxing standards at the highest level, offered insights from the official point of view.

How did you land in this career as a professional boxing referee?

I started my refereeing career in 1988 in Mumbai where I became a judge for Mumbai district. In 1998 I got a break to go for the Asian Confederations as a referee/judge. So I first became a one star AIBA judge there then and in 2011 I became a two star one, before becoming a three star referee/judge in 2015. To graduate from each level you have to give an exam. Now, the BFI (boxing federation of India) is encouraging and supporting more and more judges to become internationally recognised. SAI (sports authority of India) is also helping out in the matter. Things are getting better.

What is your take on the future of Indian boxing?

The future is excellent for Indian boxing. We have a lot of great boxers coming up through the ranks. Consistent medals at the Olympics will come with experience. Since the last two-to-three years we’ve started working on that. By 2024, we’re expecting very good things. SAI has also been very helpful in providing everything that a boxer needs right from their diet to their training facilities.

What steps you think need to be taken to improve India’s boxing performances at international tournaments?

We need to have more foreign boxing coaches for the state as well and that’s something SAI should support. As of now we have six foreign coaches and all are part of the setup of the Indian national team. None of the states have a foreign coach as of now, which I think they should.

First Published: Nov 05, 2018 14:58 IST