The Indian boxers are geared up to box without any headgear in the World championship to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, next week.
Even though the boxers were short of the desired competitive exposure before a big event, chief coach G.S. Sandhu expressed confidence in their abilities and preparedness.
“We have been training hard and competing in some events. So, our boxers should be prepared for the challenge. Anyway, most of the boxers from around the world will box without any headgear,” said Sandhu at the pre-departure training session here on Thursday.
Vijender Singh, who would take part in his fourth World championship, was keen to prove himself after overcoming a long layoff due to a drug controversy.
“My motivation level is good. I feel blessed that I have been able to keep fit and stay away from injuries all these years. It is all about one’s mindset and how you handle yourself.”
On boxing without any protection to his head, Vijender (75kg) said, “I am worried about the boxers’ safety.
“For instance, Devendro (Singh) got injured in the first round of the trials and got out.”
Asked whether it was a cause of worry that India, suspended by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), could not take a doctor with the team, Vijender said “Our coaches know how to take care of the boxers.”
Asian champion Shiva Thapa (56kg) pointed out the importance of having a strong defence.
“The sport has become more explosive (due to the new scoring system) and more injury-prone. So, one must maintain a tight defence to protect one’s chin.”
“Since one has to fight four to five rounds to get a medal, one must avoid injuries,” said Asian silver medallist Mandeep Jangra (69kg).