India to host women's world boxing meet in 2023

India has never conducted the men's world championship but it will be the third time that the elite women's competition will be held in the country.
(From left) BFI president Ajay Singh, IBA president Umar Kremlev and reigning world champ Nikhat Zareen.(Photo | BFI)
(From left) BFI president Ajay Singh, IBA president Umar Kremlev and reigning world champ Nikhat Zareen.(Photo | BFI)

CHENNAI: In a massive boost for women boxers in the country, the International Boxing Association (IBA) president Umar Kremlev officially announced that India will be hosting the 2023 IBA Women's World Boxing Championships. The event will be conducted in New Delhi and according to the IBA calendar, it is scheduled to be held in March. The participating boxers can earn as high as USD 100,0000 (Rs 81 lakh approx for winners) during the event with a total prize money pool of USD 2.4 million Rs 19.50 crore).

Things had been brewing in this regard for some time. This daily had reported in June that the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), the governing body of the sport in the country, was keen to bring the marquee event back to the country ahead of the Paris Olympics. The BFI, who last conducted the world meet in 2018, also had the opportunity to host the ongoing Asian Championships, which is being held in Amman, Jordan, but the federation wanted to concentrate on the aforementioned world meet.

In his first visit to India, Kremlev revealed the latest development at a press conference in the national capital on Wednesday. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the IBA and the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) in the presence of Kremlev and BFI chief Ajay Singh. Nikhat Zareen, who claimed the 52kg world title earlier this year in Istanbul, was also present during the occasion. "India is very passionate about boxing and conducting the World Championships here will be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the innumerable victories as well as inspire many more women to take up the sport and popularise the game more than ever. BFI has worked effortlessly to develop boxing in India and the region and I'm sure they will stage an event to remember," Kremlev said.

Given that the championship is held in high regard, it was always going to be a big draw for the BFI, which has shown high ambitions on and off the ring, to stage an event of this stature. Also, this event would have most likely doubled up as an Olympic qualifier if the IBA was recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The world boxing body currently stands suspended and the IOC will conduct its own event to identify boxers for Paris.

Lovlina, Alfiya cruise to final
Tokyo Olympics medallist Lovlina Borgohain and Alfiya Pathan advanced to the finals of the ongoing Asian Championships in Amman with both winning their respective semifinal bouts with a similar 5-0 verdict. This is a step in the right direction for Lovlina, who has had a couple of setbacks in recent times. This is also the first time that she is competing in the 75kg category in an international event.

While Lovlina got the better of South Korea's Seong Suyeon, youngster Alfiya (+81kg) beat 2016 world champion Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhastan.

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The New Indian Express