The makeshift ring and the good crowd under the lights were perhaps the perfect ambience for the boxing fans to have a feel of the talent on hand in the twin cities when Sports Coaching Foundation (Masab Tank) organised the Muhammad Ali Open championship for juniors and seniors recently.

To the delight of the organising team headed by K. Sai Baba, former Ranji cricketer, the response was very good as pugilists from across the city trooped into the venue. The winners were lustily cheered while the losers were consoled by the die-hard fans even as former many-times national champion Dennis Swamy was a witness to the entire proceedings. Rated as the most scientific boxer of his era and who narrowly missed the Tokyo Olympics berth due to dirty selection politics, this gentleman may not have been fully satisfied with the quality of bouts. “But it is good that there are still many who still love this sport. This is the key and these youngsters badly need exposure and in this context this kind of events are very important to sustain the interest in the sport,” feels Arjuna Awardee Dennis Swamy.

For the record, Narender of Lal Bahadur Stadium was rated as the ‘best boxer’ of the meet while Mohd Riaz of SCF was named as the ‘most promising boxer’.

N. Sanjay, IPS and Joint Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, gave away the prizes.

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