IBF Press Release
The Boxing Carnival Beckons

The 2011 AIBA World Championships at Baku, Azerbaijan will mark a milestone in the history of boxing. In the words of National coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu, it?s going to be a carnival at the World Championships this year. And with a record number of 685 boxers from 127 countries competing to be crowned ?World Champions? the event is going be no less than a spectacle. The tournament that kicks off on September 26th in the stunning Capital City of Azerbaijan, will witness the best boxers in the world vying for the one of the most prestigious tittles in the sport along with a place at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The top ten boxers in each weight category will qualify for the quadrennial games, except Heavy and Super Heavy weights where only six will qualify. The 2nd and Final Olympic Qualification Tournament for Asia will be held in Kazakhstan in March 2012.

The cream of boxing talent in India will also stake their claim at the World title and an Olympic berth at the championships. Indian Boxing Federation is fielding a full team of ten boxers, who were selected in a trial held at the NIS Patiala last month. Apart from India, twenty one countries including Russia, Cuba, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, USA, Congo, Germany, Australia and Ireland will field a complete team.

Fresh off the block from a training cum competition exposure in France, the Indian squad would be looking to better their track record at the world championships. Coach Sandhu believes the competition is going to be very tough with best boxing nations fielding their strongest competitors. He said,

?With some many countries participating, the nature of the competition is going to be unpredictable and boxers will have to register at least four or five wins just to reach the medal rounds. Our training has been of very high standard, we have focused on all aspects of the game giving extra attention to physical fitness, keeping in mind the new scoring system.?

The World Championships will be played under the new rule which made its official debut at the AIBA Women?s Junior/Youth World Boxing Championship in Antalya, Turkey earlier this year. Under the new structure, points are awarded after taking the average of the three Judges scores which are closest. The competitors as well as the audience only get to know the scores after the completion of each round. AIBA revised the scoring system to bring back the artistry in the sport, and to discourage the over defensive tactics of boxers; going into a shell guard after having notched a few points lead.

?There is expectation and suspense as the result is only known at the end of the round, therefore the boxers cannot afford to be complacent and need to be more aggressive in the final round,? expressed Coach Sandhu. Talking about India?s chances, the Dronacharya awardee said, ?It is very difficult to predict anything at this point, but I am hoping we do better than last time and we should be able to bag at least two slots for the Olympics if not more?.

Spearheading the Indian attack at the championships would be Beijing Olympics bronze and Guangzhou Asian Games gold medallist, Vijender Singh in the middle weight division. The 25 year old won India?s first-ever medal at the previous edition of the tournament at Milan in 2009. Though regarded as a serious medal hope for India, Vijender is bound to face stiff opposition from Uzbekistan, Armenia, Russian and several European talents. However, hopes are high that the Haryana lad, who recently won a god medal at the World Police Games in New York, will rise to the occasion and surpass his 2009 performance.

Accompanying Vijender is Asian Games silver medallist Dinesh Kumar in the light heavy weight cadre. Dinesh did not start the year particularly well, bowing out early of the first two tournaments, but he came back strongly at the World Police Games fetching the yellow metal. Buoyant with confidence the 23 year old says, ?Everyone is looking to get an Olympic berth and so am I, a good performance at the championships will be big boost and help my cause and that?s what I am looking to ensure?.

For veteran boxer Akhil Kumar, the tournament holds great significance as he is looking to make a comeback of sorts after battling lack of form and injury plagued last couple of years. The bantam weight national trials at Patiala witnessed a rejuvenated Akhil surge ahead of his younger compatriots in a weight category, which at the moment is a bundle of talent with the likes of Jitender Kumar, Shiva Thapa and Chhote Lal Yadav. ?I feel fit and am enjoying my boxing right now, all being well I will end with favourable results from the championships?, said an upbeat Akhil.

Making his third appearance in the World Championships is 2010 Commonwealth gold medallist, Suranjoy Singh, in the flyweight division. The diminutive boxer, who was recently accorded with the Arjuna award has had good year so far with two bronze medals from two tournaments. The Manipur lad will hope to carry the same form into the championships.

2010 Youth World Champion, Vikash Krishan, bagged a gold medal at his senior level debut in the 2010 Asian Games. The 19 year old will be seen in action at the championships in the welter weight class, two levels higher than the one he acquired the medal in. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the change.

Rookie L Devendro Singh will be making his senior debut at the Baku. The 19 year old beat the likes of Asian Championship silver-medallists Amandeep Singh and Thokchom Nanao Singh in the light fly weight selection trials. The teenage boxer is not overawed by the enormity of the event, on the contrary he quite relishes the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the big giants of the sport, ?This will be the biggest competition of my career and I am not going with many expectation, but I hope to make an impression,? said the national youth champion.

The complete squad is as follows:

SNO Weight Category Name Unit
1. Light Fly Weight (49kg) L Devendro Singh SSCB
2. Fly Weight (52kg) Suranjoy Singh SSCB
3. Bantam Weight (56kg) Akhil Kumar AIP
4. Light Weight (60kg) Jai Bhagwan AIP
5. Light Welter Weight (64kg) Manoj Kumar RSPB
6. Welter weight (69kg) Vikas Krishnan HAR
7. Middle Weight (75kg) Vijender Singh AIP
8. Light Heavy Weight (81kg) Dinesh Kumar AIP
9. Heavy Weight (91kg) Manpreet Singh SSCB
10. Super heavy Weight (+91kg) Paramjeet Samota HAR
Support Staff
1. Brig PK Muralidharan Raja Team Manager
2. GS Sandhu National Coach
3. BI Fernandez Cuban Coach
4. Jaydev Bisht Coach
5. Ramanand Coach
6. Dr Abhishek Choudhary Doctor
7. Hari SV Raja Physiotherapist



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