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Big Bout League robs women’s National championships of top boxers

Sonia Chahal.

Sonia Chahal.  


A clash of dates between the two boxing events has caused World champion Mary Kom and young challenger Nikhat Zareen to skip out on the latter

It’s a bout the whole country is perhaps waiting for but the fight between multiple World champion Mary Kom and young challenger Nikhat Zareen will not happen in the fourth women’s National boxing championships which begin at the Mundayad indoor stadium, Kannur, on Monday.

Clash of dates

A clash of dates with the Big Bout League (BBL), the country’s first boxing league which begins in Noida on Monday, has robbed the week-long Nationals of some of the country’s best pugilists.

Both Mary and Nikhat will be in action in the BBL which travels from one place to another over the next few weeks.

“It is very unfortunate that they clash. But because the TV broadcasters’ have this slot available — it was supposed to have been held between July and October earlier — and since this is the first time the league is happening, we are extending all support to the league despite our event clashing with it,” Jay Kowli, the secretary-general of the Boxing Federation of India, told The Hindu on Sunday. “We have lost about two boxers in each weight category. All others are very much there.”


But didn’t the BFI consider postponing the Nationals? “Then, everything changes, this will become the 2020 Nationals. And we also have our road to Tokyo (Olympics) events lined up...considering all that and we could not postpone as the local organisers had done their preparations for these Nationals,” said Kowli.

Stars abound

Still, the Kannur event is not without stars. World and Asian medallists like Sonia, Kavita Chahal, Pavitra, Meena Kundu, Pwilao Basumatari and Meena Kumari are some of the names to watch out for.

Around 250 boxers will be in action and bouts will be held in two rings. The boxers will also have a chance to fight in the Olympic qualifiers. “It’s a golden opportunity for the boxers at the Nationals for this is very much a part of the road to Tokyo programme,” said the BFI secretary.

“Those boxers who have gone to the Big Bout League and the South Asian Games have been exempted from these Nationals and they have been asked to come to the camp, train together and then we will have the selection trials.”

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 2:41:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/big-bout-league-robs-womens-national-championships-of-top-boxers/article30131461.ece

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