New man takes guard inside the ring

Ajay Singh hopes to revive another seemingly dead establishment from the ground up

Published: 28th September 2016 06:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2016 06:26 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Here's an experiment. Open chrome, type ‘India boxing mess’ and watch Google throw up 4,63,00 hits in 0.54 seconds. A few hits may not actually be hits but the first few headlines reveal a snapshot into the kind of state boxing is currently facing in India. “Indian boxer Manoj Kumar appeals for PM Narendra Modi’s intervention in boxing mess,” one headline says. Another adds: “Abhinav Bindra appeals to AIBA to fix Indian boxing mess”. A third is a plea from a very important member of the Indian boxing fraternity. “Vijender Singh worried about Indian boxing mess.” 

new.jpgIt’s this mess that disturbed Ajay Singh. He wanted to do something about it and the first step in his grand plan of action was completed on Sunday when he was elected as president of Boxing Federation of India (BFI). The sport has been a poisoned chalice in India recently – medals won at international events were quickly followed by bickering between state units and administrators.

Singh, who does have a history of reviving seemingly dead establishments (he is widely credited with turning around SpiceJet’s fortunes), hopes to end that particular narrative. “My perspective on how boxing or any other sport should be run is pretty clear,” he told Express. “The administrators should not be the focus. The focus should be on sportspersons and the sport itself. India has been one of the best in boxing before and the long term goal should be to bring it back to that level.”

New man.jpgThose read like grandiose statements from a man bent on making a good first impression but he’s already off to a good start. “The International Boxing Federation (AIBA) had sent in an observer (Oceania vice president Edgar Tanner) and he was pretty happy with the conduct of the elections. His remarks, I believe, were ‘it (elections) was clean’.” The affiliation to AIBA and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) seem only a matter of time and Singh, the man behind ‘abki baar, Modi sarkar’, says he can bring on board his experiences with SpiceJet. “When I went back to it, I felt it was worth reviving... the passion in the people who were associated with it was very real. And boxing is pretty much like that. People want to see boxing in India back in the top and that’s what my job will be.” The first few months will offer a glimpse into whether he can deliver it.

Stay up to date on all the latest Sport news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp