The state of boxing governance in India had been in shambles after AIBA (International Boxing Association) suspended the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) in 2012, for “possible manipulation” of elections.
The sport had no national federation ever since, until late 2016. This resulted in isolation of Indian boxers who were deprived of foreign exposure, and competitive boxing for the most part.
India will soon have its first ever boxing league. After the conclusion of 2017 AIBA commissions meeting, Boxing Federation of India (BFI) President Ajay Singh announced the plans for organizing franchise-based Indian Boxing League, mostly likely by the end of this year.
Singh said that the league will provide an “opportunity for our boxers with respect to finances and exposure.”
The new Boxing Federation of India got recognition from Indian Sports Ministry in Oct 2016 and the ban on India was lifted in Dec 2016, with India becoming a full member of AIBA.
Addressing the media, Singh also announced that India is planning to host one major tournament every year in the run-up to 2020 Tokyo Olympics, starting with the women’s Youth World Championships in November 2017.
“We will be starting our own boxing league later this year and it will be a great opportunity for our boxers with respect to finances and exposure,” Singh said.
“The women’s Youth World Championships will be a great opportunity for the Indian boxers as they will be able to compete in such a huge event and it will also help in our preparations for Tokyo 2020,” he added.
“This is just the beginning of our plans as we wish to host one major event every year and our boxers will also be taking part in the 2017 World Series Boxing competition.”
This was the first time that the AIBA commissions meeting was held in India and the chairpersons from 11 commissions of AIBA attended the event to discuss the future of world boxing.
Thanking AIBA President Wu Ching-kuo for having faith in his leadership, Singh said the commissions meeting was just the start of a long innings with the world governing body.
“The first step was the AIBA Commissions meeting where we projected a young vibrant India ready to take on the boxers from any part of the globe. Largely because of his (Dr Wu’s) efforts and guidance that we could hold elections last year that was supervised by AIBA and conducted under Indian law.
The AIBA President, who was also present at the conference, said the situation in India has improved since BFI’s formation and added that India has the potential to become a superpower in boxing.
“What happened with the associations was quite unfortunate. But, it is all behind us now and I believe that India is capable of producing boxers who can do well on the international stage,” Wu said.