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Pro boxing comes to India with Champions Night


New Delhi:  India will get a taste of professional boxing with the launch of the Champions Boxing Night in which former Youth Commonwealth Games medallist Neeraj Goyat will square off against Filipino Nelson Gulpe for the 66kg Asian title here tomorrow.

The event being conducted under the aegis of the World Boxing Council (WBC), in partnership with the North India Boxing Association, will open with five fights of which the Neeraj-Gulpe bout will be a 12-round affair.

“It was 13 years ago when we took professional boxing to China and through that China has a world champion now. Why can’t India do what China did? India has the talent,” WBC representative Mctavish Bruce Donald told reporters here.

“We have been watching the development of boxing in China for the last 10 years. We believe that India can progress as quickly as China because India knows about boxing,” added Patrick Cusick, WBC Asia’s Secretary General.

But it won’t be an easy event to pull off and a sign of of that was a member of the group leaving the dais in a huff after a perceived snub from the other officials present at the launch press conference.

Tomorrow’s fight will be conducted at a popular mall in South Delhi to ensure that getting a decent audience won’t be a major headache even though entry has been kept free.

Also to be seen in action tomorrow are former Commonwealth Games medallist Dilbagh Singh (72kg), who will square off against American pro Clinton Smith in a six-round fight.

Former junior world medallist Balbir Singh (65kg) will be up against Thailand’s Khunkhir Wor Visaruth in a four-round clash.

“This is a first of its kind initiative. Not every boxers is destined to be a Vijender or Mary Kom, our doors are open for those who know that amateur boxing cannot get them the desired results. Fighting here will get them good money and also a chance to represent the country because ultimately we will be identified by our nationalities,” said Neeraj.

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