D. Ravi Shankar

CALANGUTE (GOA): A slugfest is on the cards at the Asian junior boxing championship, which begins here on Tuesday. Pugilists completed their registrations and later prepared by sparring with their coaches.

While most teams had a hassle-free journey, Pakistan ran into visa problems. The organisers were still hopeful of our neighbour's participation but the gut feeling here is that the team might pull out.

Iran, Malaysia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Mongolia and the Indian squads went through its registration formalities. The team from Thailand was yet to arrive and Uzbekistan did not receive clearance from its board and has officially pulled out.

After the inauguration at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the bouts will commence at 4 p.m. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Oct. 12. The semifinals will be held on Oct. 14 and the finals on the next day. The weather looks dicey and if it rains, the bouts will be shifted to an indoor venue at the hotel where the participants are staying.

Meanwhile, IABF President Abhay Singh Chautala announced that Mittals Champions Trust has agreed to provide Rs. 50 lakh so that Indian boxers can train abroad. A similar amount will be earmarked for hiring foreign coaches. NDTV has also signed a MoU for providing Rs. 90 lakh to IABF.

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