Devendro, Gaurav clinch World Series of Boxing contracts
New Delhi, Nov 13 (PTI) Rising Indian boxers L Devendro Singh (49kg) and Gaurav Bhiduri (52kg) will be seen in action in the professional-style World Series of Boxing’s upcoming season after grabbing two-year contracts with the franchises of Poland and Italy.
While Commonwealth Games and Asian Championships silver-medallist Devendro will turn up for Poland Hussars, Bhiduri has been lapped up by Italia Thunders for the season starting January 16. The Italian franchise was the champion in the team event of the 2011-12 season albeit under a different name.
“I am glad that boxer Gaurav Bhiduri is about to join the Italia Thunder. I give him my warmest welcome and can’t wait to meet him. We are building a great team and we hope to qualify as many boxers as possible to the next Olympic Games in 2016,” said Paolo Cassera, Managing Director of Italia Thunder.
The two boxers have got the opportunity courtesy Anglian Medal Hunt — a sports management group which has been supporting the duo.
“I am so excited about the prospect of competing in this tournament. It is a huge opportunity for me because I can also grab an Olympic berth if I do well,” Devendro told.
“I don’t have words to describe how it feels. It is a huge opportunity for me because the Italian team features some big names like (Olympic and Word Championships medallist) Paddy Barnes,” said Bhiduri.
Last season too, the Indian boxers had competed in the WSB when Asian champion Shiva Thapa and Sumit Sangwan turned up for the USA franchise for a select number of bouts following a mid-season deal. However, this is the first time that Indian boxers have been offered full-fledged contracts.
“The financial details are still being worked out but this is the first time that Indian boxers have been offered full-time contracts in this league. They will get to train with the best during their stint and hopefully they will deliver in the ring,” said Anglian Medal Hunt CEO Maneesh Bahuguna.
“Their contracts are for season five and six, both of which will be held in 2015,” he added. The WSB offers Olympic quota places for boxers through its individual championships.
“We are getting used to playing without head guards in the amateur competitions and we will train hard to ensure that we have the stamina to last five rounds in this event. It will definitely make us better boxers,” said Devendro.