By Poonam Mehra Guwahati, Dec 12 (PTI) With professional boxers now welcome in all national and international amateur events, former Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh has decided to take the plunge after one of Indian boxings biggest employers — the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) — allowed its pugilists to compete on the circuit. In a move that could set a precedent for other institutional boards, which are wary of letting boxers employed with them compete on the professional circuit, SSCB has finally relented. “The SSCB and the Army Sports Control Board have allowed their boxers to compete in the professional circuit. This move came about because of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikars intervention. He has sanctioned this decision,” Brig. P K Muralidharan Raja, President of the Indian Boxing Council, a licensing body for professional boxers, revealed. Brig Raja is here to meet officials of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) to forge a “harmonious” equation with the national governing body for amateur boxers. It is to be noted that AIBA, after a recent meeting in London, decided to allow professional boxers to compete in national events after the Olympic doors were thrown open for them earlier this year. With the SSCB letting its boxers go professional, at least four have taken the plunge. Prominent among them is Manpreet, who won the heavyweight silver medal in the 2010 Asian Games. He will compete in the cruiserweight on the pro circuit. Also deciding to go professional is Som Bahadur Pun, a former Commonwealth Games silver-medallist. Pun had been rendered inactive owing to his ill-health. Pun will be competing in the super middleweight category. Joining him will be Sanjay Kolte, a former world cadet silver-medallist, who won a gold medal at the 2010 World Millitary Games. Kolte is also a multiple-time national champion and will be competing in the lightweight division. Another name to join the professional bandwagon from the SSCB stable would be Santosh Harijan (super featherweight). “We had also requested for Suranjoy Singh but he is right now the chief coach of Navy and that has not quite worked out,” Brig. Raja said. Speaking about how a professional boxing body would forge a working equation with BFI, Brig Raja said, “Given that AIBA has now broken all barriers for professional boxers, it would be good to have a larger pool of boxers to choose from. The senior guys will have the option of turning pro so that the youngsters get enough chances of proving their mettle. And during trials both pros and amateurs can be pited against each other from where the best can go on to represent India.” “All boxers tied up with IBC will be available for BFI. They can take a call,” he added. The BFI, on its part, has already declared that it is not averse to letting professionals in after AIBAs waiver. “We obviously want a huge pool to pick from, so when the AIBA has allowed professionals, we will see how they can be assimilated,” BFI President Ajay Singh had stated on the opening day of the ongoing National Championships. PTI PM BS BSadvertisement
Kolkata Knight Riders in-form batsman Robin Uthappa and Sunrisers Hyderabad’s young fast bowler Siddarth Kaul got involved in a bit of an altercation during an Indian Premier league match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday.Chasing a mammoth target of 210 set by defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Gambhir-led KKR received early blows when they lost opener Sunil Narine in the second over of their innings.KKR were yet to recover from Narine’s loss when Hyderabad seamer Kaul struck again on the third delivery of the following over to remove captain Gambhir for a paltry 11.Kaul and Hyderabad were elated after Gambhir’s dismissal as KKR slumped to 12/2 inside three overs.However, KKR’s No.3 Uthappa, who came in after Narine’s wicket, struck a boundary to end Kaul’s over.But just as Uthappa was changing the side after hitting the boundary, he shouldered Kaul and appeared to exchange some words with the bowler, forcing Hyderabad’s Yuvraj Singh to come and have a word with the KKR batsman.Later when the rain interrupted play at the end of 7th over, Uthappa and Yuvraj were seen having a chat, maybe regarding that shoulder push to Kaul. Yuvraj was certainly not pleased and it seemed Uthappa smiled and admitted his mistake.