The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) came into being in 1949. This federation was mainly due to the persistent effort of H. V. Pointon, who was the President of the Bombay Presidency Amateur Boxing Federation from 1944 to 1948. However he left India by the time the Federation was finally formed on 25 February, 1949. The first ever National Championship was held at the Brabourne Stadium in Bombay in March 1950. The Indian Boxing Federation was the governing body for India for Olympic boxing and was also a member organisation of the International Amateur Boxing Association. But now this same organisation banned nationally and internationally, has brought boxing in India to a sorry state. The worst sufferers will be Indian boxers, who cannot now participate in any recognised tournament until the ban is revoked. This is doubly sad because in a country like India where cricket is virtually a craze, boxing has attracted a surprisingly large following. Gutsy and talented boxers like Vijender Singh and Mary Kom have brought laurels to India at the highest levels in current times.
An analytical report by IBNLive Sports is worth reproducing in this context, even in an abridged form: “The recent barring of Indian boxers from participating in international meets by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and the Indian sports ministry on Wednesday has not only further highlighted the mess that Indian sports is mired in, but also left a band of brothers and sisters facing a rocky future.
The Indian Boxing Amateur Federation (IABF) has been banned, both by AIBA and the Indian sports ministry, due to a faulty electoral process. Per the AIBA’s directive, no Indian player will be allowed to play in tournaments under its aegis until the ban is revoked. Once again, dirty politicking has shamed the country. This suspension has left India’s male and female boxers’ futures in disarray. In another battle for power, it is the athletes who have yet again become the unfortunate losers. The IABF has been banned, both by AIBA and the Indian Sports Ministry, due to a faulty electoral process. Most of all, the boxers will suffer. For a cricket-obsessed country, India can proudly claim to have a group of talented, world-class boxers capable of bringing glory to the nation. The list of boxers with international success and those brimming with promise – especially with an eye on the 2016 Rio Olympics – is no joke: Vijender Singh, the former middleweight (75kg) world No. 1 and poster boy of Indian boxing; 18-year-old Shiva Thapa, a special talent; 20-year-olds Vikas Krishnan, Devendro Singh and Sumit Sangwan; Manoj Kumar, 26, and Jai Bhagwan, 27; and two India’s brightest male prospects in Naveen Kumar and Sandeep Kumar, silver and bronze medalists respectively at the 2011 Junior World Boxing Championships.
In women’s boxing, the five-time world champion and London 2012 bronze medalist Mary Kom; the Manipur pair of Sarjubala Devi (48kg) and Assam’s Minu Basumatary (64kg), both reigning youth world champions; and Mizoram’s Lalenkawli (46kg), a reigning junior world champion. These are the cream of a sorority of boxers, proof that the next level is packed with promise.
These are boxers with the potential to give India reason to cheer, to be proud of its athletes. Boxing – like wrestling – gives India a genuine foothold on the international stage. The next AIBA event is the Junior World Championships in August next year, followed by the senior World Championships in October. These are competitions where India genuinely stands to dominate. Thus, the aforementioned Indian talents and the next level of male and female boxers deserve better. Their nurturing should not include faulty electoral processes, infighting, and a lack of direction from the bodies that are supposed to look after them. If the organisations cannot look after themselves, what will happen to the boxers?”
STARS OF THE RING NOW STARS OF THE SCREEN
Vijender Singh refused to play the lead role in the movie ‘Manchali’ directed by Lovely Singh. Vijender Singh did a lot of endorsements in the last few years, but he has rejected this offer stating that he has a busy schedule in the coming months and so he won’t be able to give time for the film. However Vijender Singh added that he would be glad to work in films whenever he finds time and has enough time in his hands.
Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is making a movie on boxing star Mary Kom. The film will be a biopic of the boxer and the lead role would be played by Priyanka Chopra. Mary Kom would be helping Priyanka Chopra to learn the basics of boxing so that the actress can perform the role better. Priyanka Chopra however has said that she is very tense about playing the role of Mary Kom as it would need a lot of effort to step into the shoes of the star boxer, even if its only on the screen.