THRISSUR:It may have taken quite a few punches to the face over the past few weeks but the Boxing events of the 35th National Games will take to the ring on Friday, standing firmly on two feet.
The spat between Boxing India (BI) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had culminated in the former issuing a diktat asking players to skip the Games. Further uncertainty had shrouded the event after top boxers including Vijender Singh and MC Mary Kom had decided to give it a miss.
But organisers confirmed on Thursday that only four state associations had withdrawn from the event. “Meghalaya, Assam, Chandigarh and Maharashtra have withdrawn. Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Sikkim are not participating. All other states and Services have entered contestants,” competitions manager Narender Singh Mor told TNIE.
A total of 182 boxers — 127 men and 55 women — from 27 states and Services (SSCB) will feature in the event.
Meanwhile, a spat between Kerala’s boxing authorities and a section of boxers from the state has added an unsavoury flavour to proceedings. A faction, that had earlier alleged that the selection process held to determine Kerala’s entrants at the Games was rigged, has filed a case in the Kerala High Court. “We have been informed of a case that this faction has filed, alleging that the boxers representing Kerala are actually from India. But as far as we are concerned, these are the names that the concerned officials from the state have entered. There is a provision for boxers from other parts of the country to represent a state if they are studying or working there,” Mor said.